A new monthly survey of bankers suggests the economy is slowing down in rural areas of 10 states in the Plains and the West.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says falling crop prices have farmers spending less, and crop prices are expected to continue declining this fall.
The overall economic index for the region fell into negative territory to 48.3 in August from July's 51.8.
The survey indexes range from 0 to 100. Any score below 50 suggests decline in the months ahead.
Goss said bankers are not very optimistic about the next few months. The survey's confidence index dropped to 39.9 in August, from 42.9.
Bankers from rural areas of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.