On Tuesday, Purdue University and the CME Group released their monthly pulse of farmer sentiment regarding the ag economy.
A reading of more than 100 indicates optimism in the farm economy, while a reading less than 100 is a signifier of pessimism. While the barometer dipped seven points from the July reading to 132, it’s stronger than last year’s level of 96.
That drop is credited to commodity prices trending lower in 2017.
“This underscores a difficult time out there, but we’ve seen some improvement and some moderation in the last 12 months,” said David Widmar, ag economist for Purdue’s Center for Commercial Ag.
Farmer sentiment can differ from reality. 2017 is two-thirds over, and some are questioning the health of the farm economy.
“Farmer sentiment does tend to ebb and flow with what we’ve seen in commodity prices and as we look at agricultural commodity prices,” said Nathan Kauffman, executive of the Omaha branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “Even though we’re seeing some deterioration in the last couple of months, it’s still a recognition that maybe cash flow is better than where it had been a year ago.”