The Tenth District, which is headquartered in Austin, is composed of the cooperatively owned Farm Credit Bank of Texas (FCBT) and 22 farmer-owned lending associations in the five-state region.

District loan volume totaled a record $6.991 billion at June 30, up 2.87 percent from Dec. 31, 2002, and up 8.58 percent from a year earlier. This was the thirteenth consecutive quarter in which the district set a new loan volume record.

"The low interest rate environment of the past two years has had a positive impact on the district's loan portfolio," said Larry Doyle, FCBT chief executive officer. "Although the general economy has been less than robust, many agricultural operators have been able to take advantage of historically low interest rates to expand or refinance their operations this year."

Other factors contributing to loan volume growth during 2003 include competitive pricing by district associations, enhanced customer service and marketing efforts, and continued demand for real estate throughout most of the district, Doyle said.

Mid-year credit quality remained strong at 97.4 percent of gross loan volume, unchanged from year-end 2002 and down only slightly from 97.5 percent at June 30, 2002.

Net income for the three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 2003, totaled $37.273 million and $66.925 million, respectively. This compares with $33.721 million and $58.550 million for the same periods in 2002.

Looking ahead, Doyle said the use of Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac) loan guarantees beginning this summer will give Tenth District associations increased lending capacity in the future.

The bank and associations' combined assets grew to $8.170 billion at June 30, 2003, from $7.690 billion at year-end 2002.

The Farm Credit Bank of Texas provides funding and financial services to 12 Agricultural Credit Associations, which make agricultural and rural real estate loans, and 10 Federal Land Credit Associations, which specialize in rural real estate lending. At mid-year 2003, these customer-owned financing cooperatives reported a total of 62,414 loans outstanding to agricultural producers, agribusiness operations, country homeowners and other rural landowners.

The Tenth Farm Credit District is part of the nationwide Farm Credit System, the largest agricultural lending organization in the United States. Nationally, the System reported net income of $443 million and $878 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2003, respectively. This compares with net income of $524 million and $934 million for the same periods last year.

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com