The December reading of the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer shows modest improvement in farmer sentiment, due in part to improving grain prices. Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, which oversees the barometer, says the rise was primarily driven by farmers’ perception that the current situation on their farms improved.
The barometer increased seven points from November to a reading of 174.
According to the survey, farmers are more optimistic about farm income because of the ongoing rally in crop prices.
“The rise in the ag economy barometer was primarily attributable to an improvement in the current conditions index, which rose 15 points compared to November. The index future expectations also rose but that increase was just five points compared to November,” said Jim Mintert, director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture.
Because of the improving farm income picture, farmers said they are now more inclined to make large investments in their farming operations
However, the December survey shows farmers are still concerned about policy issues affecting agriculture following the November election.
More than 80% expect environmental regulations to become more restrictive, compared to 41% who felt that way in October. Over 70% expect to see higher income and estate taxes compared to about 40% in October.
The Ag Economy Barometer is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey.
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