Farmer sentiment is up but uncertainty remains


Farmer sentiment is up but uncertainty remains

Producers are slightly more optimistic about the future of the ag economy, according to the latest Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.

But, Jim Mintert, director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture, says farmer sentiment is lower than year-ago levels.

“I just think that’s reflective of the tremendous amount of uncertainty that’s out there,” he says. “Farmers continue to tell us that when we ask them about their number one concern about the coming year. It continues to be the rising costs of inputs. That’s been true for some time now and that really hasn’t changed. It’s a time of uncertainty.”

The overall barometer rose six points in February to 125. The Index of Future Expectations was up 10 points to 122 and the Index of Current Conditions held steady at 132.

Thirty percent of farmers surveyed had difficulty purchasing 2022 crop inputs from suppliers.

“Thirty seven percent of the people that said that they were having some difficulty said herbicides were the problem,” he says. “Across the board it looks like the supply chain is still having difficulties in a multitude of areas not just one or two things. If you think about it, the supply chain issues have been with us in many ways throughout much of 2021 and it’s pretty clear they’re going to continue now through much of 2022.”

Mintert says it’s important to note that the survey was conducted before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“There was heightened concern about what was going to happen in Ukraine but Russia had not started any invasion,” he says. “Things have shaken loose dramatically since then which has created more uncertainty on the income side. The commodity prices are stronger but there is still a lot of uncertainty out there.”

The monthly national survey of 400 U.S. agricultural producers was conducted Feb. 14-18.

Audio: Jim Mintert