(NAFB) — Farmer sentiment improved modestly in December, according to the latest Ag Economy Barometer. The CME Group/Purdue University index, released Tuesday, rose to a reading of 174, up seven points from November. December’s sentiment improvement still left the barometer nine points lower than in October. The Index of Current Conditions climbed 15 points to 202, while the Index of Future Expectations increased by just five points to 161.
Organizers say the farm income boost provided by the ongoing rally in crop prices appears to be the driving force behind the improvement. However, comparing survey results from before the November election to the post-election time frame, there continues to be less optimism following the election.
Farmers note concerns about future ag exports and more worries about increasing environmental regulations and prospects for higher taxes. Additionally, the number of farmers concerned that the farm income safety net will weaken remained higher post-election, as did the percentage of farmers expecting government support for the ethanol industry to decline.
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)
Farmer sentiment rises as income prospects improve, concerns about key policy issues remain
Farmer sentiment improved modestly in December as the Ag Economy Barometer rose to a reading of 174, up 7 points from November. December’s sentiment improvement still left the barometer 9 points lower than in October. Both of the barometer’s sub-indices, the Index of Current Conditions and the Index of Future Expectations, were higher in December than in November although the current conditions improvement was three-times the size of the future expectations increase. The Index of Current Conditions climbed 15 points to 202 whereas the Index of Future Expectations increased by just 5 points to a reading of 161. The farm income boost provided by the ongoing rally in crop prices appears to be the driving force behind the improvement in the Current Conditions Index and the overall improvement in farmer sentiment. The Ag Economy Barometer is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey. This month’s survey was conducted from December 7-11, 2020.
Producers were noticeably more inclined to think now is a good time to make large investments in their farming operations than in November. The Farm Capital Investment Index increased 13 points in December to a record high 93. The comparison is even more dramatic when December’s reading is compared to …..