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Ag Economy Barometer falls for January

Farmer sentiment declined for January as commodity prices weakened, according to the latest Purdue University/CME Ag Economy Barometer.

Jim Mintert with Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture says the January reading of 106 is 8 points below December and 24 points below year-ago levels, “There’s a growing recognition that ’24 is not going to be nearly as good as 2023, at least as it stands today. People are worried about a cost/price squeeze and they continue to worry about the high price of inputs.”

He tells Brownfield farmers’ concern about lower commodity prices is on the rise, “This is the first month when the percentage of people chose lower crop and livestock prices just as frequently as they chose higher input cost. 28% of the people in the survey chose lower crop and livestock prices as their top concern or one of their top concerns.”

Mintert says producers are also more pessimistic about their farms’ current situation and future opportunities.  The Current Conditions Index fell by 9 pounds and the Future Expectations Index dropped by 7. Additionally, farmers are anticipating weaker farm incomes in 2024 and that was reflected in the Farm Financial Performance Index which came in at 85, 12 points lower than the December numbers.

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer is a nationwide measure of the health of the U.S. agricultural economy and surveys 400 agricultural producers on economic sentiment each month.

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