Farmers less optimistic in ag outlook


Farmers less optimistic in ag outlook

Farmers revealed a less optimist outlook for the ag sector in the latest Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.

Purdue University’s Jim Mintert says the shift reflects uncertainty in agriculture.

“If you look at current commodity prices things look positive, especially on the crops side and I think for a lot of producers the question is will it continue and how do I make my plans,” he says. “If you think about crops, for example, although current commodity prices are very high for many producers, they haven’t sold very much at these high prices because the bulk of their sales probably occurred before prices really took off.”

The overall Ag Economy Barometer fell 20 points to 158, the lowest reading since September. The Index of Current Conditions fell 17 points to 178 and the Index of future Expectations fell 20 points to 149.

He tells Brownfield farmer sentiment is relatively high despite the decline.

“Although the decline in the barometer was 20 points and maybe a little bit unexpected, it still leaves the barometer more than 50 percent higher than it was at this time last year,” he says. “Except for the last few months, that 158 would be one of the highest barometer readings we’ve ever gotten. There was a shift, people were less optimistic this month than they were a month earlier, but I don’t think it indicates that people have become negative about what’s going on in agriculture right now.”

The monthly national survey of 400 U.S. ag producers was conducted May 10-14.

Audio: Jim Mintert