Purdue ag economy barometer reflects pessimistic outlook

Indiana farming

Indiana’s agriculture sector appears to be uncertain about its long-term outlook but believes this year should be better than 2020.

The latest Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer dropped 7 points in January to a reading of 167, down from 174 in December.

Since its peak in October 2020, the Ag Economy Barometer has fallen 9%, all attributable to weaker expectations for the future. The barometer is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey, which was conducted between Jan. 18 and Jan. 22.

Purdue University said its Index of Future Expectations has fallen 19% since October, while the Index of Current Conditions rose 12% during the same time period. Ongoing strength in the Current Conditions Index appears to be driven by the ongoing rally in crop prices, while the deterioration in the Futures Expectations Index seems to be motivated by longer-run concerns about policies that could impact U.S. agriculture in the future.

Producers are becoming more optimistic about short-term expectations for their farms’ financial performance, with nearly one-third expecting better financial performance in the coming year compared to 2020.

The full report is available at the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer website.


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