Jason Henderson, vice president and Omaha branch executive Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, joined Nebraska Farm Bureau members at the Legislative Conference in Lincoln this week to share information about Nebraska’s economic outlook. In Henderson’s address, he said when the farm sector does well, Main Street in America does well.
So where does Nebraska rank? The state boasts the second lowest unemployment rate in the country at 4.1 percent and there is significant job growth. “We need to be importing people not exporting them,” says Henderson. Nebraska also ranks in the Top 10 for total personal income growth.
So can agriculture fuel Nebraska’s economy? Henderson explains more about the impact of export markets. Listen more here.
But the big question on people’s minds…is this a farm bubble? Henderson says it depends on corn prices; and, low interest rates mean high land values and predictions are that they will stay low until 2014. Corn production costs are up more than 70 percent since 2001 and wheat production costs are up more than 25 percent. He also says look for higher gas prices next summer because consumption is predicted to be higher than production.
Henderson concluded by saying a rebound in commodity markets and manufacturing have underpinned stronger gains in the Nebraska economy; financial markets will shape economic activity in the near-term and agriculture could support the Nebraska economy again in 2012.