Ag Barometer Declines Sharply as Commodity Prices Weaken
The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer weakened significantly in August to a reading of 124, down 29 points from July, according to a release by Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. The barometer is based on a mid-month survey of 400 agricultural producers across the U.S. and was conducted Aug. 12-20, with nearly all of the responses collected following USDA’s release of the Aug. 12 Crop Production report.
Farmers’ expectations for both current and future economic conditions also took a tumble. The Index of Current Conditions dropped 19 points and the Index of Future Expectations dropped 34 points in August, both compared with a month earlier.
“Sharp declines in most commodity prices during July and early August weighed heavily on farmer sentiment this month,” said James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. “While USDA’s announcement of the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payment rates did help alleviate concerns about 2019 income for many farmers, the big decline in the Index of Future Expectations indicates farmers are becoming more concerned about the future for U.S. agriculture and their farms.”