Despite taking some body blows from continued low commodity prices, farmer optimism refuses to be pinned. The latest Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer is out, showing a steady, positive farmer sentiment and a clear desire to rework NAFTA.
The monthly survey taps 400 producers from across the country, rating their sentiment on a scale of 0 to 200 (anything above 100 is a net positive). The May number came in at 130 and has hovered near this number for the past five months.
Optimism over farmland values is also slowly creeping upward. For May 2017, 19% of respondents think farmland values will be higher a year from now. That’s the biggest positive response since July 2016 and the second-highest rate since the question began was first posted in November 2015.
The Trump administration has signaled multiple times it wants to renegotiate key trade agreements, including NAFTA, and farmers appear to be on board with this strategy. The Ag Economy Barometer added a NAFTA question to its May 2017 survey, and a resounding 83% majority of respondents supporting renegotiation efforts. Of the respondents, 63% say such a move will be beneficial for the U.S. economy and 61% say it will be specifically beneficial for agriculture.
Click here for more insights on the May 2017 Ag Economy Barometer.