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The Crop Surplus Is Bad News for America’s Farms

  • Debt levels at 31-year high as Fed begins boosting loan costs
  • Record land values poised to fall with profit at 13-year low
Non-GMO corn is harvested with a John Deere & Co. 9670 STS combine harvester in this aerial photograph taken above Malden, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. Corn exports by the U.S., the biggest producer, are running 28 percent behind last year's pace as a stronger dollar entices buyers to go elsewhere for cheaper supply.
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

The American farm boom is all but over.

Farmland values are down from all-time highs. Global surpluses left corn and soybean prices below the cost of production. And the amount of agricultural debt relative to income ballooned to the highest in three decades, just as the Federal Reserve has begun raising interest rates for the first time since 2006.