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Barometer: ag input prices, availability remain top concerns for farmers

Producers say high input costs remain a top concern for their farming operations, according to the latest Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.

Jim Mintert is the director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture.

“Forty-two percent of the people in the survey said higher input costs was their biggest concern,” he says. “That was more than twice the percentage of people that chose government policies or lower output prices. That’s indicative of the level of concern people have about inputs.”

He tells Brownfield farmers expect already-high crop input prices to increase in 2023.  

“Keep in mind, they’ve already told us that they expect to see a tremendous amount of cost inflation in 2022 versus 2021. Twenty-one percent of crop producers said they expect to see input prices rise 20 percent or more in 2023 compared to this year. Over one-third of the people in the survey expect to see input prices next year rise by 10 percent or more. That reflects the concerns people have about what’s taking place and it’s making it difficult for people to get real optimistic from a sentiment perspective.”

The survey found that the war in Ukraine continues to create uncertainty for producers. Sixty percent of farmers surveyed said the biggest impact the war will have on U.S. agriculture is input prices.

Mintert says input availability is another concern.

“If I had asked about input availability three or four years ago, hardly anybody would have said they were worried about input availability and yet we’re getting a significant percentage, roughly one out of five, that says they’re worried about input availability. In other words, their ability to buy what it is they want to buy whether that be the herbicide package they want to buy or the fertilizer quantities they want to buy. These are unprecedented times. These are things that over the course of the last several decades I just don’t think people were worried about and then all the sudden these have turned into big issues”

The monthly national survey of 400 U.S. agricultural producers was conducted from April 18-22.

Audio: Jim Mintert

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