WEST LAFAYETTE - A study from Purdue University says agricultural producer sentiment has dropped to its lowest level in two years. The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, which surveys 400 ag producers nationwide, says respondents have expressed concern over worsening farm financial conditions.

The barometer reading for September dropped 15 points from the previous month to 114. Producers said financial conditions on their farms have "deteriorated significantly" this year and their expectations for the future have weakened. Last month, 54 percent of farmers who responded to the survey said their farm's financial condition was worse than a year earlier, up from 38 percent in June. 

"The barometer readings have been unusually volatile over the past few months," said James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture. "Concerns about the ongoing impact of trade conflicts, and especially China’s tariffs on imports of U.S. ag products, continue to reverberate throughout the U.S. agricultural sector."

More than 70 percent of producers said they expect lower income in 2018 because of trade disruptions, and 78 percent said it was a bad time to make large investments in equipment and buildings for their farming operation. 

You can read the full September Ag Economy Barometer report by clicking here. You can also view additional analysis from Mintert in the video below.