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Farmers are pessimistic about 2017

by Ben Nuelle LISTEN: money-matters-11-3-16

Ag Economy Barometer settles lower for October.

Ag producers’ sentiment was measured at 92. That’s the lowest reading since March and the second-lowest Ag Economy Barometer value since data collection began a year ago.

Dr. Jim Mintert is Director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture at Purdue.

“It wasn’t a big surprise the barometer took a downturn. It’s been trending lower since July. One of the more interesting things about it though is what drove it lower is farmers declined in expectations about the future.”

Mintert says there are two components of the Ag Barometer Index.

“Namely the index of current conditions and index of future expectations. The index of current conditions actually went up a little bit from September to October and up above where it was in August even. But the index of future expectations is the one that took a big hit and declined sharply.”

He says there are a few reasons why farmers’ views are split.

“That dichotomy exists in part because farmers are in the midst of harvesting by most accounts is a very good or record crop. That explains some optimism about current conditions. But the decline of future expectations is probably driven more than anything by an expectation that we’re going to have and extended weak commodity prices.”

Each month, The Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer surveys 400 farmers across the U.S.

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