Producer sentiment holds steady but farmers are less optimistic about the future
Farmers are more optimistic about current conditions and less optimistic about future expectations, according to the latest Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.
Jim Mintert is the director of Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture.
“Crop conditions here across much of the corn belt look pretty good and I think that has made people feel a little more optimistic about their current situation and we’ve the impact of the USDA payments are probably being reflected in sentiment toward current conditions as well,” he says. “When future expectations fell, I think part of that might be a recognition of the fact that the impact of the coronavirus is going to be with us for awhile.”
He tells Brownfield farmers surveyed are still concerned about the impact about the pandemic on farm profitability.
“Sixty-one percent of recipients were telling us they were fairly or very worried about coronavirus impacting their farm’s profitability,” he says.
Four out of 10 respondents said they are conducting more business online because of COVID-19. About half of the farmers said they were less likely to attend in-person educational programs. The survey included a few questions about what sources of information farmers would rely on in place of these meetings and 17 percent said they listen to farm radio. Other sources include reading emails, visiting websites, viewing online webinars and videos, reading farm magazines, and listening to podcasts.
The overall ag economy barometer rose just one point to a reading of 118 in July. The monthly survey of 400 US agricultural producers was conducted July 20-24.
Audio: Jim Mintert