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Ag Economy Barometer Goes Optimistic About Future

by Ken Root & Whitney Flach

Listen Here: Agribusiness Matters 10-6-16

Grain farmers are still worried about current prices, but Livestock interests are more optimistic.

The new September Ag Economy Barometer from Purdue University and CME Group shows a slight uptick over the August value, going from 95 up to 101 and still short of the peak reading of 112 in July after a late spring and early summer rally in corn and soybean prices.

Jim Mintert, the director of Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, talked about the rebound. “People are reluctant to sell at these recent price levels. There is some optimism about where prices are going over the winter and perhaps into the spring. There is expectation that we will see stronger prices and some positive storage return. That suggests that there is maybe some risk out there with respect to carrying that large of an inventory over the course of the storage season.”

But most say they don’t expect widespread good times in either livestock or crop farming. All year long those surveyed have said they have priced or sold less of the 2016 crop than typical. In September an even larger percent said they had priced or sold less than typical

Mintert said current conditions continue to challenge everyone in agriculture, especially crop farmers, where optimism lags behind the livestock sector.

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