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Producer sentiment towards Ag economy slides

Photo by Ben Nuelle

Producers showed lower sentiment toward the agricultural economy in November.

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer was released Tuesday. The November barometer showed a reading of 128. This is a 7-point decline from October’s 135 and the second-lowest reading of 2017. The number is based on a monthly survey of 400 agricultural producers from across the country.

“The November slide in sentiment was primarily driven by reduced optimism about the future,” director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture Jim Mintert says. “We saw the Index of Future Expectations fall by 10 points, while the barometer’s other sub-index, the Index of Current Conditions, held steady at 129.”

One survey question asked producers whether they thought the next 12 months would be good or bad financially for the agricultural economy as a whole. Sixty-two percent said yes. The percentage of producers expecting bad times in agriculture has been increasing since July. Then, 50 percent of survey respondents said they were expecting bad times.

Throughout 2017, survey respondents have been asked about agricultural trade in an effort to understand how proposed policy changes might be impacting producer sentiment. Ninety-six percent rated them as important.

The survey also asked producers about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“When we asked producers about NAFTA specifically, they were less confident about its importance to the U.S. agricultural economy,” Mintert said. “While 70 percent did rate it as important, a substantial 20 percent rated NAFTA as neutral, meaning neither important or unimportant.”

Read the full November report at here. This month’s report includes additional information both sub-indices, farmland values and trade.