The most recent Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer improved 15 points to a reading of 136 in October. The upswing is attributable to 15-point increases in both of the barometer’s sub-indices. The Index of Current Conditions rose to a reading of 155 and the Index of Future Expectations rose to a reading of 146. The barometer is based on a mid-month survey of 400 U.S. crop and livestock producers.
There are a couple of trade deals with major trading partners in the hopper that have major implications for U.S. agriculture. As a result, questions were added to this month’s barometer survey to gauge whether farmers feel these agreements are important to the U.S. agricultural economy.
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement is still waiting on approval by the U.S. Congress. When asked whether they felt the trade deal was important to the U.S. agricultural economy, 96 percent of producers indicated it was either important or very important. However, only 55 percent expect it to be approved by Congress soon. At the same time, 97 percent of producers felt a recently announced trade deal with Japan was also important or very important to U.S. agriculture.