Inside INdiana Business

Purdue survey: Farmer optimism wanes over economy

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A monthly survey conducted by agricultural economists at Purdue University shows farmers remain concerned about the economic future of their farms due to unknown environmental regulations and tax policies.

The Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer drifted lower in January by seven points to a reading of 167.

The report seems to show mixed signals from farmers. The Index of Current Conditions indicates farmers are more optimistic about short-term expectations due to an improvement in crop prices.

However, the survey shows a deterioration in the Futures Expectations Index because of longer-run concerns about policies that could impact U.S. agriculture.

The Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture, which conducts the survey, says 83% of respondents expect more restrictive environmental regulations under the Biden Administration, compared to 42% who felt that way in October.

There was also a surge in the number of farmers who expect an increase in income taxes over the next five years. Seventy-five percent say they expect higher taxes, compared to 40% who felt that way before the election.

The Ag Economy Barometer, which is conducted by the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture, is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers” responses to a telephone survey.