Farmer sentiment weakened again in October as the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer fell to a reading of 102, down ten points compared to a month earlier. Both of the barometer’s sub-indices, the Index of Current Conditions and the Index of Future Expectations, declined this month. The Current Conditions Index dipped eight points to a reading of 101, while the Future Expectations Index dropped 11 points to a reading of 102.
This month’s weakness in farmer sentiment pushes the index back near levels observed in late 2015 and early 2016 when farm income was sharply lower than in the last two years. USDA estimates U.S. inflation-adjusted net farm income averaged across 2021 and 2022 is more than 40 percent above the 2015-2016 average. Producers are concerned about the impact of U.S. interest rate policy on their farms and the ag economy, with over one-third choosing it as the most important policy issue.