As planting season gets closer, farmers’ sentiments about the economy have retreated somewhat from the positive moods seen in January, according to the Ag Economy Barometer from Purdue University and the CME Group.
The February reading declined to 134, down 19 points from January’s all-time high. The barometer is based on a survey of 400 producers and their feelings on the ag economy.
“People are feeling a little bit better about the economy than they were last fall,” said Jim Mintert of the Center for Commercial Ag at Purdue University. “They’re feeling better about the future. There’s still some stress in the ag economy, and from the viewer and lender perspectives, that means some caution still must be exhibited with respect to decisions going forward.”
Mintert says they asked farmers if they expected corn or soybeans to be more profitable in 2017. Two-thirds of those surveyed sided with soybeans as being more profitable.
He says these results suggest there will be more interest than usual in USDA’s planting intentions report coming out March 31.