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Purdue/CME Ag Economy Barometer Shows Rebound in Farmer Sentiment
USAgNet - 07/08/2020

Farmer sentiment improved in June for the second month in a row, rebounding from sharp declines that took place in both March and April, according to the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. The index was up 14 points from May to a reading of 117.

The Ag Economy Barometer is based on responses from 400 U.S. agricultural producers with this month's survey conducted from June 22-26, 2020.

Ag producers became more optimistic about both their current and future farming operations compared to a month earlier.

The Index of Current Conditions rose 19 percent from May to a reading of 99, and the Index of Future Expectations climbed 12 percent from May to a reading of 126.

Over the last two months, farmers' perspective regarding making large investments in their farming operations improved markedly.

The Farm Capital Investment Index recovered to a reading of 60 in June, compared to just 50 a month earlier and a reading of 38 in April.

Although much improved since bottoming out in April, the recovery still left the Farm Capital Investment Index 12 points below the 2020 high established in February, before coronavirus impacted markets.

"This month's survey was conducted after the USDA announced details regarding the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)," said James Mintert, the barometer's principal investigator and director of Purdue University's Center for Commercial Agriculture.

"A more favorable spring planting season combined with assistance from CFAP help explain this month's improvement in farmer sentiment, yet a majority of producers believe additional economic assistance will be needed in 2020."

Despite their concerns, when asked about the impact of the virus on their farms' profitability, 64 percent of respondents indicated they were "very worried" or "fairly worried", down from 71 percent in May.

The June survey provided the first opportunity to survey farmers after details about the CFAP were made available.

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