FDIC to host symposium on farmland values, financial risks

Escalating farmland prices have caught the attention of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The agency,  which insures deposits and examines and supervises financial institutions for safety and soundness, will host a half-day symposium to discuss issues associated with escalating farmland values over the previous decade. The symposium – “Don’t Bet the Farm: Assessing the Boom in U.S. Farmland Prices” – will be held March 10, at the FDIC’s facilities in Arlington, Va.

The program will feature two panel discussions relating to current market conditions and risk management practices in agricultural finance. Farm lenders and other experts in agricultural finance will be invited to share their outlooks regarding risks ahead.

“Farmland values have doubled on average in the past 10 years, and continue to rise in an environment of ample liquidity and low interest rates,” said FDIC chair Sheila C. Bair. “While we see strong fundamentals in the farm sector at present, the sector remains vulnerable to a reversal of market conditions or a rise in interest rates. The lending and borrowing decisions made now, when collateral values are high, will shape credit performance down the road.”

There is no cost, but pre-registration is required and space is limited. For more information on the symposium, visit http://www.fdic.gov/news/conferences/2011-03-10.html.