Farmers cautiously optimistic about the ag economy despite volatility

Farmers are cautiously optimistic about the ag economy, according to the latest Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.

Jim Mintert is the survey’s principal investigator and director of Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture.  

“(The results) are kind of interesting given the volatility that we’ve experienced in both weather conditions and prices, but we saw that kind of improvement and people are a little optimistic and that spilled over into other areas of the barometer,” he says.

The overall Ag Economy Barometer rose two points to a reading of 123. The Index of Current Conditions rose five points to a reading of 121 and the Index of Future Expectations rose one point to 124.

He uses producer sentiment on farmland values as an example.

“If you look at our data starting at the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022, you can see farmer respondents progressively losing some of the optimism they had about farmland values and then here in these last two months, we’ve kind of reversed that,” he says.

And, Mintert says, confidence among producers on future farmland values continues even though two-thirds of survey respondents expect interest rates to rise over the next year.

The Long-Term Farmland Value Expectations Index was unchanged in July at a reading of 151 while the short-term index declined one point to 125.

The monthly national survey of 400 U.S. producers was conducted July 10-14.

Audio: Jim Mintert

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