After two months of sharp declines, the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer has leveled off, dropping just three points from last month. While holding steady, Purdue ag economists say the July reading of 134 is still the weakest reading of the barometer in a year.
Two sub-indices that measure current conditions and future expectations of farmers are also down.
“But the declines were fairly modest, especially with respect to the index of future expectations, which only declined two points,” said Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture Director Jim Mintert. “The index of current conditions did decline a bit more sharply to a reading of 143. A six point decline compared to last month.”
Purdue says producers remain concerned that farm input prices are likely to rise much more sharply in the coming year than in the recent past.
The report also reveals nearly half of corn/soybean farmers expect farmland cash rental rates to rise, potentially squeezing profit margins.
The Ag Economy Barometer sentiment index is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey. Click here to view the full report.
Center Director Jim Mintert provides analysis of the report in the video below: