OMAHA, Neb. — A new report is highlighting growing concerns that farm foreclosures will be the greatest challenge to rural banks in parts of 10 Plains and Midwestern states over the next five years.

The Rural Mainstreet Index for the region rose slightly to 45.3 in October from 39.6 in September. The index released Thursday ranges between 0 and 100, with any number under 50 indicating a shrinking economy.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey of bankers, says about 10 percent of bank CEOs surveyed expect their operations to be hit hard by farm foreclosures in the next five years. Goss blamed the concern on weak farm income and low commodity prices.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

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