For the second straight month, the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer ticked higher in February.
The reading of 140 is the second-highest rating since the data collection began in late 2015. The peak surpassed 150 in January 2017.
In the February survey, ag producers remain optimistic that U.S. and ag exports will remain strong until 2023. Of the producers surveyed, 87 percent believe exports will remain the same or increase.
“A lot of uncertainty about NAFTA , despite that, farmers remain optimistic about trade growing over time,” said Jim Mintert, director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture. “That’s despite the fact that Canada and Mexico are two of our largest trading partners.”
On a scale of 1 (very unlikely) to 9 (very likely), producers were asked about the possibility the U.S. withdraws from NAFTA. 39 percent of respondents gave a median answer of 5.
Despite NAFTA concerns, 71 percent of farmers expect soybeans to be more profitable than corn.
The monthly survey gathers sentiment from 400 agricultural producers across the nation.