Sentiment among agricultural producers weakened in September as the Ag Economy Barometer declined 14 points to a reading of 124. This is the weakest farmer sentiment reading since July 2020, when the index stood at 118. Producers were less optimistic about current and future conditions on their farms and the agricultural sector than a month earlier.
There was a sharp rise in farmers’ expectations regarding farm input price inflation with more than one-third of respondents expecting input prices to rise by more than 12 percent in the upcoming year. Farmer optimism about future growth in agricultural exports continues to wane, and that, combined with concerns about a squeeze on operating margins, could be contributing to weakness in farmer sentiment.
Farmers do, however, remain bullish about farmland values. The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer sentiment index is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey.