The Tenth Farm Credit District has passed the $8 billion mark in loan volume for the first time in the rural financing organization’s 88-year history.

In its third quarter financial report, the district reported $8.12 billion in loans at Sept. 30, 2004, a 13.7 percent increase from the $7.14 billion reported a year earlier. The Tenth Farm Credit District is composed of the Farm Credit Bank of Texas (FCBT), 21 affiliated financing cooperatives and three other financing institutions. It is the largest rural lending network serving Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas.

The quality of the loan portfolio was very high, with 98 percent of gross loan volume rated acceptable at Sept. 30, 2004, up slightly from the 97 percent reported one year earlier. Total district high-risk asset volume decreased by 29.2 percent at Sept. 30, 2004, from year-end 2003.

Tenth District net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2004, totaled $51.8 million, a 37.0 percent increase over the $37.8 million reported for the third quarter of 2003. Net income for the first nine months of 2004 totaled $131.5 million, reflecting a 25.6 percent increase from the $104.7 million reported for the same period of 2003.

“Such extraordinary earnings and loan volume growth are the result of outstanding efforts by association and bank staff. They have worked hard to increase our penetration of local markets by offering a full spectrum of competitively priced loan products and services, as well as marketing more aggressively to the agribusiness sector,” said Larry Doyle, FCBT chief executive officer. “We have a very fertile market, and it is our primary objective to improve our market presence and penetration.”

At the same time, Doyle noted, the district’s lending associations have benefited from continuing strong demand for rural real estate and a generally healthy agricultural economy.

The Farm Credit Bank of Texas provides funding and services to its affiliated Tenth District financing associations, which make agricultural, rural real estate and agribusiness loans. The Tenth Farm Credit District is part of the nationwide Farm Credit System.

Nationally, the System reported net income of $487 million and $1.415 billion for the three and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2004, respectively. This compares with net income of $462 million and $1.340 billion for the same periods last year.