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Associated Press, Published March 03 2013

Farm loan mediation requests drop again in Minnesota

ST. PAUL – Strong grain prices are being credited with another drop in mediation requests for troubled farm loans in Minnesota.

For the 12 months ending Sept. 30, mediation requests declined about 5 percent. That decline was substantially less than the strong improvement measured a year earlier, when the index dropped by a quarter.

Dick Senese, senior associate dean of the University of Minnesota Extension, says lenders typically file for mediation when a farmer falls into serious financial trouble and cannot repay loans.

Last year, he says, lenders filed just more than 2,900 mediation requests, compared with almost 3,100 the previous year.

Grain production was profitable last year, but high prices for feed are hurting livestock operations.