Farmer sentiment improves in the latest Ag Economy

Farmer sentiment improved in the latest Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.  

But, Jim Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator, says it’s important to note the timing of the survey.   

“This month’s survey was done between the 10th and the 14th of April. That was a little bit before commodity prices broke to the downside,” he says. “When we look ahead to the next survey, it will be interesting to see how much impact that has. My guess is it will push the barometer down a little bit as sentiment probably is going to be a little bit weaker based on the decline in commodity prices we’ve seen.”

The overall barometer rose six points to a reading of 123. The Index of Current Conditions rose 3 points to 129 while the Index of Future Expectations rose seven points to 120.

He tells Brownfield an improved perception of interest rates was reflected in farmer sentiment.  

“We’ve been asking a question over the last three months about what people expect to see happen with respect to interest rates. The first time we asked that question in January, 75 percent of the people in the survey said they though interest rates a year from now would be higher. This month that changed to 66 percent,” he says.

More producers surveyed expect rates to hold steady or decline over the next year. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they expect the U.S. prime interest rate to remain unchanged or decline over the next year, compared to 25% of producers who felt that way in February.

The Ag Economy Barometer is a monthly national survey of 400 U.S. agricultural producers.

Audio: Jim Mintert

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