Inside INdiana Business

Farmer optimism pushes sentiment index to new high

The latest Purdue Ag Economy Barometer reading those farmers are more optimistic about the farm economy. (photo courtesy: USDA)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A large percentage of American farmers and ranchers are feeling very optimistic about the agricultural economy right now, according to new data from the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture.

The Purdue/CME Ag Economy Barometer rose by one point last month to 168, the highest reading in the five-year history of the measurement.

The barometer’s strength was supported by an improvement in producer’s perceptions of current conditions, which offset a small decline in expectations for the future.

Purdue says the Current Conditions Index set a new high in February with a reading of 154, up 12 points from January.

Barometer analysts say optimism about the agricultural trade outlook appeared to be the primary driver behind the improvement in sentiment.

“Although some concerns existed about the possible impact of the COVID-19 virus on ag trade in mid-February when this month’s survey was conducted, producers remained relatively optimistic about the resumption of trade with China,” stated the summary.

According to the ag barometer, farmers also remained optimistic that the trade dispute will be resolved in a way that’s favorable to U.S. agriculture with 80% expecting an outcome that is, ultimately, positive for U.S. agriculture.

The Ag Economy Barometer is generated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ survey responses.