Modest Improvement in Farmer Sentiment, Financial Concerns Loom

The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rose modestly in February posting a reading of 111, five points higher than a month earlier. The modest rise in the barometer was attributable to producers expressing somewhat more optimism about the future as the Future Expectations Index rose seven points to a reading of 115.

The Current Conditions Index was unchanged at 103 compared to a month earlier. Meanwhile, February’s Farm Financial Performance Index reading of 85 was one point lower than in January and 13 points below its most recent peak in December. Weak crop prices continue to weigh on financial expectations as mid-February Eastern Corn Belt cash prices for corn and soybeans were percent and eight percent lower, respectively, than two months earlier when the December survey was conducted.

When asked about their biggest concerns for their farm operation in the upcoming year, producers in this month’s survey continued to point to high input costs and lower crop and livestock prices.

View the full survey here:

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