Creighton University's Rural Mainstreet Index for Iowa fell to 40 in March from 46.1 in February. Both figures were under the growth-neutral mark of 50. Worse, the farmland price index fell to 30.4 in March from 40.1 the previous month. New hiring sat at 50.5, barely in the growth range, from February's 58.6. In the 10-state region, the overall index was below growth-neutral for the 19th straight month, falling to 45.3 from 45.8 in February. Businesses not directly linked to farming expanded employment. More than seven of 10 bank CEOs expect farm loan defaults to rise over the next year.