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Purdue Agricultural Economy Barometer Shows Optimism for Future Despite Current Price Pressures


Apr 2, 2024

In a recent podcast discussing the results of the barometer, James Mintert, the Director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture, noted that while the overall index is relatively stable, there are some interesting trends when comparing future expectations to current conditions. He explained that the slight increase in the barometer was primarily due to increased optimism about the future. The Index of Future Expectations showed a 5 point increase from February, while the Index of Current Conditions was 2 points lower than last month and 25 points below the same time last year.

Mintert pointed out that farmers’ primary concerns are high input costs, followed by lower crop prices and higher interest rates. Michael Langemeier, the Associate Director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture, mentioned that breakeven projections are slightly lower than last year, and many inputs have already been purchased. However, there are still concerns about potential fluctuations in fuel and labor costs.

According to Mintert, the survey also asked farmers about their thoughts on making large investments and the reasons behind their decisions. He noted that the number of farmers citing poor prospects for farm profitability has increased significantly, from about 7% last fall to 22% this month. This shift reflects a growing concern over a cost-price squeeze in the industry.

For more detailed information about the Ag Economy Barometer, including charts and responses to various questions, visit the link provided. Katie Dehlinger can be contacted at katie.dehlinger@dtn.com or you can follow her on social media at @KatieD_DTN.

By editor

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