A strong farm income is responsible for much of that strength. “Farm income is up 24 percent and reports in November probably will look even better.”

That strong farm income means more rural sales activity. “Farmers buy equipment. Farmers spend money.”

Challenges remain for rural America as state and local government funds are stretched. “Rural counties depend on a greater share of state and local government spending. Cuts will hurt.”

The recent Federal Reserve decision to buy $600 billion in treasury bonds is intended to bring down treasury yields and keep interest rates low “to stimulate investments and economic activity.”

A side effect of buying treasury bonds will be a lower dollar value. “When the value of the dollar goes down, the price of commodities goes up. That provides opportunities for agriculture and energy. The challenge is that input costs also will go up. A strong global economy will boost energy prices and the global demand for crude oil will outpace global production.”