Farmers Express Serious Economic Concerns In Latest Ag Barometer

August 7, 2018 02:15 PM
The latest Ag Economy Barometer from Purdue University shows just how concerned farmers are about the agriculture economy.

The latest Ag Economy Barometer from Purdue University shows just how concerned farmers are about the agriculture economy. Farmer sentiment fell sharply during July on heels of commodity price declines and concerns over trade. 

“The Ag Economy Barometer declined 26 points to a reading of 117 in July, driven by sharp reductions in both the Index of Current Conditions, which fell from 138 to 99, and the Index of Future Expectations, which fell from 146 in June to 126 in July,” says James Mintert, Extension economist at Purdue.

The reading of 117 brings the index back to the level observed immediately following the 2016 presidential election. While  the July decline is the largest one-month decline in the Ag Economy Barometer’s three-year history, it’s still well above the low point of 92 observed in October 2016, prior to the elections. 

Ag Barometer Trade

According to Mintert, the survey shows farmers are very concerned about the trade conflicts. 

“In our July survey, 54% of the respondents said that they expected a trade war,” he explains. “And then we asked about the impact on income. Over 70% of the respondents that expected an impact said that they thought their income would decline by 10% or more, so (they’re) very, very concerned about the trade issues.”

Ag Barometer Investments

Farmers’ concerns about the ag economy also spilled over into their willingness to make significant investments, Mintert says. 

Every month, we asked a question that asks people whether or not now's a good time to make large investments in their farming operation. And the percentage of people saying that this was a bad time jumped to 73% from 60% a month earlier. So, it's really a pretty big change,” he explains. “In fact, when you look at the way that question’s analyzed with both, whether it's a good time or a bad time, it was the most negative response we've gotten to that question since March of ‘16.”

Ag Barometer Farmland

Moreover, producers are not optimistic about farmland values either. 

When we ask producers to look 12 months ahead with respect to farmland values, 31% of them said that they expected lower farmland values in the year ahead,” Mintert says. “That compares to 21% a month earlier. So that was a big jump, a big change in our survey, and really wipes out the positive improvement we've been seeing going back to last fall.”


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Spell Check

Newark, NY
8/8/2018 10:16 AM

  This guy lies so much and pounds his own chest I want to see where he comes up with 37 billion in tax payer money for HIS wall and HIS farmer bail out

Sharon, IA
8/8/2018 09:28 AM

  You're absolutely right Al, it's extremely refreshing to have a president follow through on his campaign promises. If he gets things straightened out and get better trade relations will our president get any credit for it?

Ames, IA
8/8/2018 08:13 AM

  I am not following this sentiment. This is the president that rural America voted for, especially also farmers. It was very obvious what Trump administration policies were going to look like. He was clear and open about that he would demolish trade agreements and use trade wars as his tools. So now that Trump is following through on his promises, what are farmers so concerned about? This is what YOU directly voted for, so this is what you get. Suck it up!


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