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The Washington Post this morning takes note of the economic boom in farm country. Post reporter Neil Irwin travels to Blair, Nebraska, to find booming truck and equipment sales, new store openings and plummeting unemployment rates, all brought on by the rapid rise in price paid for farm commodities (corn, beans, etc.).
There is now a ten month backlog on orders for a new tractor. Land prices have nearly doubled in the last four years. “You can tell when farmers are doing well,” one Nebraskan said, “because they go out and buy a new truck.” (See Blair truck lot above.)
The caution in the story is that this boom may turn out to be another price bubble. “There are no straight-line graphs,” said Jim Realph, the mayor of Blair. “Things just don’t go up forever. I don’t know when this will end, or whether it will be bad when it does, but this will go the other way.”