Figure 1. Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, October 2015-September 2019.
Source: Purdue Univ news release
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The Ag Economy Barometer dipped slightly in September to a reading of 121, down just 3 points from August, when the index stood at 124. Although the barometer’s decline was small, there was a relatively large sentiment shift among ag producers as they were noticeably more pessimistic about current conditions on their farms and in the U.S. ag economy , but somewhat more optimistic about future economic conditions, both compared to one month earlier.
The Index of Current Conditions declined from a reading of 122 in August to 100 in September. This was in contrast to the Index of Future Expectations, which actually rose 6 points compared to August, with a September reading of 131.
The Ag Economy Barometer is based upon results from a nationwide telephone survey of 400 U.S. crop and livestock producers. This month’s survey was conducted from September 9-13, 2019.
Concerns about current economic conditions on their farms spilled over into producers’ perspective on making large investments in their farming operations. The Farm Capital Investment Index, which is based upon a question posed to farmers each month regarding the advisability of making large investments in their farming operations in items such as machinery or buildings, declined for the second month in a row to 47.
|Figure 2. Indices of Current Conditions and Future Expectations, October 2015-September 2019.|
This was down 9 points compared to August and 20 points below the Farm Capital Investment Index’s highest reading of this calendar year, observed in July when crop prices were near their 2019 peak.
|Figure 3. Farm Capital Investment Index, October 2015-September 2019.|