The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer reading declined to 124 in August, down 29 points from July. 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 to a month earlier.
Sharp declines in most commodity prices during July and early August weighed heavily on farmer sentiment this month. 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.
The barometer is based on a mid-month survey of 400 agricultural producers across the U.S. and was conducted between August 12 and August 20, 2019, with nearly all of this month’s responses collected following USDA’s release of the August 12 Crop Production report.