Cash flow is a growing problem in farm country, and nearly all of the bankers that spoke with DTN at a recent conference said there's some part of their portfolio that's under significant financial stress. However, that portion is small, and bankers say they're being more proactive in helping customers head off problems.

Moody Analytics director of sales management Doug Johnson started a presentation at the National Agricultural Bankers Conference with a number of quotes from ag lenders, the themes of which echoed through the workshops, coffee breaks and keynote sessions.

He said one lender told him: "The valley is as deep as it was in the 1980s, both financially and emotionally for some producers, but it's not as wide."

Another said: "We are one average yield away from disaster."

And a third said: "Kick the can down the road. A rolling loan never collects a loss," resulting in chuckles and shaking heads from the crowd.

In school, you get the lesson before you take the test, Johnson said. "If you've been around lending since the '70s or '80s, you got the test first, and then you got the lesson. And because of that, we know more today, arguably, than we ever knew going into the farm crisis of the 1980s."

Read more in The Progressive Farmer.