On Optimism for the Future, Ag Barometer Jumps


While being surveyed in May for the monthly Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, producers around the country were feeling much better about the future. In the new barometer the index of future expectations jumped, and Jim Mintert from the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture says it jumped a lot.

“When we asked people about their future expectations, that index rose 19 points (to 145) during the month of May relative to April,” he told HAT. “That was the biggest one month jump I think we’ve ever seen in that particular index, so people became maybe a little bit more optimistic about what was taking place on the trade front. The survey was done back in the middle of May and the trade picture looked a little more optimistic than it does today. I think that was one of the drivers. Then, people told us they were more optimistic about the financial situation on their farm today relative to a year ago.”

Producers also said they’re more optimistic looking out to the next twelve months. Another bright spot in the survey is that the percentages reporting that their farms’ financial condition is worse than a year ago and expecting further deterioration in the year ahead have both dropped.

In the May barometer update there are also survey results about the effectiveness of the current farm bill in providing a financial safety net. Results indicate farmers have real concerns. But, many responded positively about the crop insurance question.

“Two-thirds of the people surveyed that purchased crop insurance this year said the crop insurance is effective at providing a financial safety net, and only 17 percent said it was ineffective.”

The overall barometer went to 141, 16 points higher than last month and the highest it has been since January 2017. The Index of Current Conditions rose to 132 during May, 9 points higher than in April.

Hear more from Mintert hereMintert-on-May-Barometer-bump and read the full May report here.

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