Farmer sentiment improved in August as the Purdue-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rose 14 points above its July reading to 117. Both the Index of Current Conditions and the Index of Future Expectations increased last month. Producers were less worried about their farm’s financial situation than in July, although they remain concerned about a possible cost-price squeeze. When asked about their biggest concerns for the next year, more than half of respondents chose higher input costs. Other concerns include rising interest rates, input availability, and lower output prices. Despite this month’s improvement in sentiment, all three indices remain well below year-ago levels. Finally, this month’s survey revealed an uptick in the percentage of farmers engaged with companies offering payments to sequester carbon. However, just one percent of respondents said they’ve signed a carbon contract, with the majority of those choosing not to sign, suggesting that payment rates offered remain too low.
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