August 1, 2023

Farmers Remain Cautiously Optimistic About Agricultural Economy

Agricultural producer sentiment improved slightly in July as the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rose two points above its June reading to an index value of 123. This month’s survey was conducted from July 10-14, 2023. The Ag Economy Barometer sentiment index is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey. Purdue ag economists James Mintert and Michael Langemeier share some insight into the results of the June 2023 Ag Economy Barometer survey on this episode of Purdue Commercial AgCast.

The full report is available at The audio transcription is available below.


Audio Transcript

James Mintert: Welcome to Purdue Commercial AgCast, the Purdue University Center of Commercial Agriculture’s podcast featuring farm management news and information. I’m your host today, James Mintert, director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture, and joining me today is my colleague, Dr. Michael Langemeier, who’s the Associate Director of the Center and also professor of Ag Economics here at Purdue.

We are gonna review the results from the July Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer Survey of farmers from across the nation. Each month we survey 400 farmers across the U.S. to learn more about their perspectives on the ag economy. This month’s Ag Barometer survey was conducted from the 10th through the 14th of July.

And Michael, the ag economy barometer rose slightly. I mean, it’s, it’s a very small change. The reading this month was 123. That’s up from 121 last month. And of course last month we did have a big jump or a big improvement in the barometer, so I don’t wanna discount that. That does leave the barometer about 20 points higher than it was this time last year. But still below where it was a couple years ago. You go back two years ago, that index was at 134. Last year at this time it was a 103. This month’s reading 123. Were you surprised?

Michael Langemeier: I don’t really know what my expectations were. I thought it might be relatively stable, but this is a really small change, and it makes me believe that until we get more information on what the crop yields are going to be, it’s probably gonna be relatively flat.

James Mintert: You know, Michael, when I was doing the writeup this month the first thing I looked at was the change in commodity prices that occurred from when we conducted the survey in mid-June to when we conducted the survey in mid-July. And I used the Wednesday settlement prices on the futures prices to look at that and looked at cash prices as well in terms of like fall bids, for example.

And I think fall bids for corn delivery between mid-June to mid-July fell about 13%. But soybean bids and wheat bids for new crop were both up. I think they were both up in the range of about 7 to 8%. So it was kind of a mixed bag, and I think that’s exactly the way farmers looked at it. Right. So on on one hand, you know, from a corn revenue standpoint, things looked weaker than they did in mid-June, but that was at least partially counterbalanced by what was going on with some of the other commodities.

And I think that’s probably why we wound up with an index that was pretty close to what it was a month earlier. As you and I know, commodity prices are not the only thing that drive the index, but certainly they’re important particularly when you see big swings.

And so ordinarily a 13% drop in in corn value would suggest some weakness in the barometer, but I really think it was counterbalanced by what was going on with soybeans and wheat and other commodities as well. If you look at the Index of Current Conditions and Future Expectations, I think the Current Condition Index was the driver of that small increase that we saw in the barometer.

It was up five points compared to last month. It also leaves that index, I think, 11% higher than it was in July of ’22. The Future Expectation Index was up just one point, so almost no change at all. But that index is, I think, 24% higher than it was a year ago. So You know, if you look at a, at a chart of those two, they’re the, they’re basically sitting on top of one another, right?

So that Future Expectation index is 1 24. The Concurrent Condition Index is 1 21. They’re really just laying right on top of each other. So I, it’s kind of unusual that we see that take place, right? Normally we have people a little more optimistic about the future or a little more optimistic about the current situation. They’re both feeling about the same on both, right?

Michael Langemeier: Yeah. But if you look at the futures, I mean, going back to the futures prices again, you look at corn in particular, it’s, it’s relatively flat. I mean, there’s not a huge, huge change in from corn prices this December compared to the December 24.

Now, soybeans drop a little bit. You obviously, because we could have a short. Shorter crop this year. But that, you know, given that the futures are relatively flat that helps explain this because we’ve, we’ve had times before where next year look a lot worse from a price standpoint or vice versa. Next year look better. And right now we really don’t have that situation.

James Mintert: Yeah. So your interpretation is that when we see the current condition and future expectation indexes laying on top of one another, people are saying, 2024 could look a lot like 2023 from an income standpoint. Yes. Which is probably as good a forecast as we can come up with, given the volatility that exists.

Right? The number of myriad factors influencing what could really happen. Over the next year and a half or so, financial performance index was up one point. So again, almost no change. That reading is 87 versus 86 last month, a couple of months ago, back in May, that index was at 76. So things do look stronger there than they did back in May.

If you compare it to two years ago or compare it to last year, it was one point lower than than a year ago, and then 12 points below where it was two years ago. And that’s no big surprise given that what was going on in 2021. Were you surprised at this one?

Michael Langemeier: No. This one, this particular index tracks the index, the, the ag economy barometer very closely as, as well as the the 12 month land value expectation.

James Mintert: Those two questions seem to track the ag barometer very closely. So it’s interesting to look at some of the, the sub questions, the questions that the we use to derive the indices. And so this one is kind of interesting. Do you expect your farm’s financial performance? To be better than, worse than, or about the same as last year.

And we saw a change, not so much between July and June, but really maybe going back to May there’s been an improvement in the percentage of people who think that their farm’s gonna have better financial performance than last year. Back in May, that was 14%. This month it’s 17%. On the other side of that coin, only 30%.

Say that financial performance is gonna be worse this year than last year. Again, you go back to May, that was 38%. I think these numbers. Surprised both of us a little bit. Maybe the percentage of people saying worse is probably the bigger surprise there, right?

Michael Langemeier: I would be a little more pessimistic than what, what this chart is suggesting.

You know specifically saying that I think performance is gonna be worse this year. But having said that there’s a lot could happen. I mean, we don’t know what the yields are going to be for individual farms and, and that’s gonna impact the prices. And so there, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of things that could happen to change this story.

James Mintert: And I, the other interesting thing about this, we don’t usually talk about this much either on the podcast or on the write-ups, but the percentage of people who expect their farm’s, excuse me, financial performance to be better than or be about the same as last year. Is over 50% and has been for the last two months, right?

53% this month. 54% last month. Before that, back in May when things were looking maybe a little more dismal for some folks, 48%. That’s been pretty consistent. That’s kind of an interesting value as well, that over half the people expect things to be about the same, don’t you think?

Michael Langemeier: Yeah, I think that means that they expect things to stabilize here. The income to be fairly stable here the next couple years is what

James Mintert: I’d interpret that. So another question we ask do you think that a year from now, so looking ahead a year from now, will your farmer operation be better off, financially worse off or about the same as now and very small changes this month versus last month, but kind of interesting to look at the change, I guess over time and so, There was a, a one point increase in the farmers who expect farm financial conditions to improve.

In July, it went to 21% versus 20 one point decline in the percentage of farmers expecting conditions to worsen. So 31% expect it to worsen versus 32 last month. But the bigger story there to me is the fact that if you look at those numbers, going back to this time last year, the percentage expecting a decline was in the ballpark of about 50%.

And we’re now we’re down to 31%. A year ago, the percentage expecting an improvement was in the low teens, and now we’re up around 21%. I think that trend over time is kind of interesting, don’t you?

Michael Langemeier: Yeah. But if you look at the years that you’re talking about here, You know, 22 was a very good income year, and you could tell about this time last year that it was, it was, it was setting itself up to be a really good income year, whereas 23 wasn’t, did not look quite as good.

And you, you speed ahead to this year and 23 and 24 to me looked like they’re gonna be similar. In fact, in fact, about 50% of the people think that their financial performance is gonna be about the same.

James Mintert: Yeah. So, This is a different question, but it kind of points to that same idea that people are expecting 2024 to be pretty similar from an income standpoint and the impact financially on their farms as 2023.

Okay. Then we ask a question about US agriculture and again, this is one we tend not to focus on very often, but it’s one that we do ask consistently. Do you think it is more likely that US agriculture during the next five years will have widespread good times or widespread bad times? And this index or these, this response to this question tend not to be very variable.

There’s not a lot of movement from one month to the month to the next. But it was kind of interesting that the percentage expecting bad times actually declined. And if you compare that. Percentage over time. It, it was down to 39% this month versus 41% last month. You know, over time that’s been as high as it’s actually been above 50% a few times, but not very often.

But that improvement is kind of interesting, isn’t it?

Michael Langemeier: Yeah, I think so. And, and yeah, like you said, the fact that these have been very flat really for the last two years it is kind of, it’s kind of interesting in itself. But because before that, you know, before Covid hit, we had more variability in, in these two indices.

James Mintert: Yeah. So, Maybe that’s just picking up some uncertainty you think in, in the context of people not being certain about what’s gonna happen. There tends to be no change from one month to the next. Is that perhaps, so the Farm Capital Investment Index improved this month. It came in at 45 versus 42 for an index value.

I. You compare that to a year ago, that index was at 36, and then you go back two years ago it was at 50. And again the improvement this month is interesting and it’s, and consistent, I guess with the, the modest improvement that we saw in the barometer, although maybe in some respects exceeds the improvement that we saw in the barometer.

But the interesting thing to me of this one is if you go back to the low point in 2022, that index got down to as low as 31. So it’s climbed 14 points since I think the fall of of 2022. That’s a big move for this index. That’s a, that’s a much more positive value than what we were seeing as recently as last fall.

Michael Langemeier: This one is really interesting because as we’re gonna talk about next interest rates are, are expected to continue to climb, which would work against this index. They would tend to try to move the index down a little bit. However, as we were talking before this podcast, liquidity is still really strong.

So that’s positive in terms of this index, but also pent up demand. There was quite a few people as we know you know, during the covid long covid period really had difficult finding machinery and it was expensive in all of that. And so, and so there’s some pent up demand there to buy some machine ran.

So I think, I think that liquidity and pen up demand is really helping improve this index.

James Mintert: Yeah, I, I just think it’s really interesting that it’s improved as much as it has. Since last fall. ’cause it doesn’t seem to me that the conditions have changed that much with respect to availability. But, but I clearly that’s, I think one of the factors driving this, and I think you’re right about the pent up demand.

And the other thing is even though interest rates are going up, I think people are maybe still not real concerned about that. Although, we’ll, we’ve got some contrary evidence here in a second. But a lot of folks looking at making. Purchases out of working capital. Right?

Michael Langemeier: Yeah. Liquidity’s still really strong.

James Mintert: So we do ask and have been asking now, I think going back to February, what do you expect the US prime interest rate to be one year from now? And we picked up a bit of a change this month. There were more people expecting an increase in interest rates over the course of the next year. In fact the two buckets we give people are zero to 1% higher and one to 2% higher if, if they’re gonna choose a higher rate.

And you combine those two, 65% said that they expect to see rates go higher over the next 12 months. So roughly two thirds of the people in the survey that’s up from about, I think 57% that felt that way last month. So normally if you expect interest rates to go up, you would think that would create a somewhat unfavorable environment for investment.

But, Our survey isn’t supporting that, at least so far. That was, that was interesting to me.

Michael Langemeier: Definitely. Very interesting. And the fact that a third of the people expect in interest rates to increase one to 2%, that’s on top of the 4% we’ve already seen in the last 18 months. That was a real, kind of a surprising result.

And that’s a higher percentage increase than a lot of the in industry analysts have been talking about. They’ve been talking about maybe the Fed will have some increases here, but it’d be below 1%.

James Mintert: Yeah. And As you and I were discussing again before the podcast, maybe that’s more consistent with what’s going on in the economy because despite the increases in interest rates so far, the US economy still seems to be somewhat surprisingly resilient

Michael Langemeier: and inflation has come down, but it, it’s still pretty high. It’s still quite a bit higher than that 2% target.

James Mintert: Yeah. So if the Fed really is serious about bringing down inflation, that one to 2% category might be could be more reasonable. If, if, if you and I were responding to the survey, that might be the category we would’ve chosen. Huh. I think that’s what we’re kind of revealing here.

So then we’ve been asking this question going back to last summer. What is, if, if you think now is a bad time to make large investments in your farm operation, what’s the primary reason for doing, for feeling that way? And if you look at the chart, and I wanna remind our listeners, if you’re interested, you can download these charts that Michael and I are reviewing.

The chart shows a clear change in the pattern. The first time we asked this question, only 14% of the people in the survey shows rising interest rates as a, as a problem. These last three months, for example. That’s gone from 32%, choosing rising interest rates in May to 35%, choosing it in June and now in July, 39% choosing it.

And on the other side of the coin what had been the number one factor for influencing people to say it’s a bad time to make large investments, which was the increase in prices for farm machinery. New construction has been falling. You know, when we first asked this question in July of 22, I think that was chosen by 44% of the people in survey In August of 22, it was chosen by 49%.

That was the high in terms of picking that particular source of consternation on the current survey down to 29%. So significantly, I’d say below the percentage choosing rising interest rates. So even though the Farm Capital Investment Index was up, It’s clear that people are starting to think about interest rates and at least some folks are saying that’s an impediment to making large investments.

Michael Langemeier: Another interesting aspect about this result is in 22, we know that there’s some rather large increases in both farm machinery and new construction through throughout the economy. This is not just farm machinery, new construction. Throughout, throughout the US economy and the world economy for that matter, the fact that 29% still say that increase in prices for, for machinery new construction tells me that price prices are still relatively high. They really haven’t come down.

James Mintert:  Yeah, that’s a good point. We don’t have data on retail transactions for farm equipment, but I, I noticed this week in the Wall Street Journal that. When GM reported their results, they reported their average transaction price over the last 12 months as supplies had increased, had actually gone up by, I think, $2,000 with their average transaction price.

I think now at $52,000. So, We suspect that same thing, that same phenomena is going on in farm machinery with respect to pricing, right? That they haven’t really there hasn’t been enough of an increase in supplies to see those prices back off, and that’s still showing up among people. Always a lot of interest in what farmers think about farmland values.

This month, not much change. The short term index, which asks people to look ahead 12 months with respect to farmland values, came in at 1 25. That’s down one point compared to the month earlier. So essentially no change. Compared to a year ago, that index was at 1 27. So very little change compared to last year.

You go back two years, the index was higher, then it was at 1 42. So again, if you look at the chart, there was kind of a significant downtrend with respect to people being optimistic about short-term values, but it never got negative. So just for make sure our listeners understand the index, as long as the index value is above 100, that means more people in the survey think farmland values are going up.

Didn’t think that it’s going down. But it’s been kind of a rebound here these last two months. Right?

Michael Langemeier: Yeah. And then there’s still so quite a few factors that are positive for farmland values, net returns are, are, are, are not supposed to be too bad. Here in, in 23 you also have inflation. It lands and inflation hedge.

There’s still a lot of interest from, from outside investors or essential institutional investors in the farmland market. So there’s several positive factors out there.

James Mintert: The obvious negative, of course, we’ve already talked about is the increasing interest rates.

Michael Langemeier: Increasing interest rates and they actually maybe looking ahead, net returns in 23 are not as good as what they were in ’21 and ’22. And so you do have some softening of net returns.

James Mintert: Yeah. And looking at the 24 as well, so the long-term index didn’t change at all. It was at 1 51 last month. It’s at 1 51 this month. You go back a year. It was at one 50, so one point higher than that. You go back two years, it was 1 51. And a little bit like the short-term index, there was a bit of a downtrend in with respect to the, the long-term index.

But these last roughly, I think five months now, we’ve seen kind of a reversal of that trend. So that index at one point got down in the one thirties, I think in the mid one thirties. And so we’re up about not quite maybe almost 15 points o over the last few months.

Michael Langemeier: Yeah. And, and this index is created by looking at people that expect land values to increase people that expect land values to decrease.

I wanna talk a little bit about the decrease. Less than 10% of the people that think, look, think these long-term farm land values are gonna decrease in the next five years. They’re, that’s pretty pessimistic group.

James Mintert: Yeah, that’s true. ’cause if you think about the long-term history of farmland values, I think you’ve looked at this more recently than I have.

How many five year periods have there been when farmland values Since 1960?

Michael Langemeier: There’s only been a, a short period of time in the, in the mid eighties. Then a recent period in 2019, it was slightly negative. So it’s pretty rare to World War ii, right? Yes. I go to 1960. ’cause that’s a readily available data, but you could extend this back to World War ii.

James Mintert: So the follow up question that we started asking last month, and we’ll probably continue to ask this at least in a couple more times, is about cash rental rates here for corn and soybean producers. So compared to this year, what are your expectations for cash rents in your area in 2024? And the majority of people actually over two thirds this month it was 71% say that they expect no change in cash rental rates.

But there’s about one out of four respondents, both this month and last month, who expect cash rental rates in 2024 to be higher than they are in 2023. This month it was chosen by 24% of the people in the survey, 24% of the corn and soybean producers. And last month it was 25%. So That’s interesting, right?

You, you made a point again before the podcast. We were talking about this a little bit and you made a point about. Inflation having an impact here, right?

Michael Langemeier: Definitely. I mean, inflation for next year, let’s peg that at three, 4%. Well, if just keeping up with inflation, we’d have a small increase in cash rent.

And so and, and, and so I, I would not be surprised. We don’t see slightly higher cash rents in ’24 compared to ’23.

James Mintert: Yeah. So, and again, you were, we were talking about this earlier. You have a model that you use to try and forecast cash rents, and you just actually updated that model this week, and we’re looking at that. Tell us a little bit about that.

Michael Langemeier: I, I, I think anything between zero and 5% increase in cash, rents in 24 would be, would certainly be within the realm of possibility given the model.

James Mintert: I think one of the things that think about relative to maybe your model and, and what we’re doing on the question, people when they respond to this question are almost invariably responding to nominal rates, meaning not inflation adjusted.

And I think your point was if you see a, a roughly a four to 5% increase in nominal rates, That’s essentially zero increase in real or Yeah. Zero.

Michael Langemeier: Yeah, 0% in real, but it’s still given a given inflation a small increase. A small increase in cash rent. And if you look over a longer period of time, I mean, again, this is Indiana going back to 1960.

The average increase is about a percentage higher than inflation. Okay. I don’t know if that’s interesting, but that’s it, it, so it does follow it, you know, a lot of times in the long term it does fall inflation, but slightly higher increase in inflation.

James Mintert: Yeah. So that’d be interesting to see how this shakes out.

Of course, we’ll be talking here in the near future to Todd Keith about the results from the Purdue Farmland value survey. And of course that includes some cash run rate information. So we’ll be talking to Todd about that here in the next next couple of weeks I think. So then we always try and squeeze in some, some new questions to see what.

People are thinking about, and this was a time of year when people are starting to think about whether or not they’re gonna plant a cover crop this fall. So we thought it’d be timely to ask people about cover crops on their farm operation. So we included a few questions on that topic, and the first one was, have you ever planted a cover crop on your operation?

And the part of that that we like to kind of focus on is the group that says Yes, and I currently plant cover crops this month. That was 45% of the crop operators in the survey. So for clarification, this question went to people who grow corn, soybeans, wheat, or cotton if they don’t grow one of those crops.

We didn’t, they didn’t get this question. 45% said yes currently. The last time we asked this question, which was back in September of last year, 57%. We asked it in September of 21. It was 52% and we asked it in August of 21. It was 41%. And I actually think what we’ve got going on there, Michael, it’s probably some sampling variability, don’t you?

Michael Langemeier: Yeah, I if you look at the Yes. Currently and you average out. Average this out over the last two years, about 50% have planted a cover crop. But it’s very important to point out to those listening today, that that doesn’t mean that 50% of you know that that 50% of all, you know, 50% for those 50%, all of their acres were in cover crop.

But a lot of these people have done, this is based on, on some previous surveys we’ve done in with, with the Ag Economy Barometer surveys. It’s a. Fraction of their acres and so a portion of their acres in cover crop.

James Mintert: Yeah. And that’s also consistent with what we’ve observed us on some of the farms, not all the farms, but some of the farms on the farm management tour.

Not unusual for people to target specific aspects of the farm operation for cover crops. Some cases it’s experimental. Right. Trying to learn about it a little bit. In some cases, they literally have some farms that they think belong in cover crops and, and so they target that that way. So, good. Good point there.

We also followed up then and asked those folks that said they plant cover crops. What are your motivations for planting cover crops? And they have a, I think we had six buckets, or know maybe five buckets that they could choose from. The buckets were improved soil health. Improve erosion control, improve water quality, carbon sequestration, and then the other category.

So that could be almost anything but. You know, no big surprise. 35% said soil health was their number one reason, or one of their top reasons. Improve erosion control was also chosen by, I think 30%. So those two are the top two. Improve water quality. Again, we’ve asked this question now four times.

Very consistent, right around 20% this month it was 19% said it was about water quality. Probably the most interesting thing on this response category is the percentage that shows carbon sequestration this month. 10% of the people who said they plant cover crops said that one of the reasons, not the only reason, but one of the reasons is carbon sequestration, that that struck both of us as surprisingly high.

Although it’s consistent, we’ve got of the four times we’ve asked this question three times, it’s been at 10 or 11%. One time it was at 5%.

Michael Langemeier: And the, and the reason for that is that’s higher than the percentage of people that, that have engaged in, in carbon contracts. That’s why we’re thinking that.

And because usually if you’re engaged in carbon contracts you’re gonna sign a carbon contract. Carbon sequestration iss a big issue. But if you’re not, it, it’s usually not

James Mintert: as big a issue. Yeah. And let, let me elaborate on that. The way most of the carbon contracts work is if you’ve already been using carbon cover crops, you have trouble latching onto a new contract.

And so this, the responses to this question sort of imply that there’s a little bit more going on with respect to signing carbon contracts than maybe we’re picking up in some of our other survey questions. So but I think it’s, it’s interesting, I three outta four times, we’ve got a response in that 10 to 11% category.

It’s, it’s, And I guess the other thing, Michael, it’s, there’s always a little bit of ambiguity in terms of how people interpret the question. Some of these folks might be thinking about signing a carbon contract and as a, and a possible motivation for planting cover crops. Maybe they haven’t actually done it.

Oh, that, that’s probably the case. That’s our guess. Right. So I think the last question we asked this month was, which statement best describes your experience with cover crops? And again, they had five different buckets to choose from. The first bucket was improved soil health and crop yields that was chosen by 80% of the people who said they plant cover crops.

The second bucket was improved soil health but not crop yields that was chosen by 15%. And again, we’ve asked these questions four times now. The responses on that have been pretty consistent. It’s 15% this month. Last September was 18% said that 14% said that in September of 21, and 9% said it in August of 21.

So there’s a, a minority, but it’s a kind of a, a moderately stable minority of about 15 to. Not quite 20% are telling us that they feel like it does have a positive impact on soil health, but they’ll don’t feel like they’re showing any, any improvement in crop yields because of it. And then the other categories, which was, does not improve soil health, but improves crop yields, does not improve soil health, but hurts crop yields.

And then we give an additional bucket, say I’m not currently planting cover crops. Those are all really small. I mean, the very few people are choosing those. So the two buckets that are really showing up are those first two, and maybe the one that’s most interesting is the folks that say they’re, yeah, we, we think we’re seeing some improvement in soil health, but we’re not seeing any positive impact on crop yields.

That’s, that’s kind of interesting, isn’t it?

Michael Langemeier: Yeah. In some ways I thought that bucket might be a little bigger, but, but i’s very crop specific. You know, sometimes when you talk to corn producers, for example they’ll, they’ll say that it, it doesn’t improve. Crop yields or maybe another crop. It does.

And so this is not crop specific question. Again, it went to corn, soybean wheat, and cotton producers. And so we don’t, we don’t break that down by crop.

James Mintert: Yeah. The other thing that you and I have been talking about is the fact that this is a national survey. And I think it’s important to remember that, and as you think about how applicable cover crops might be, That’s going to, you’re gonna see some variability.

So for example, if one of the examples we were discussing recently was, you know, Western Kansas, Western Nebraska, even, maybe even central Nebraska. Some areas where moisture tends to be a real concern and you don’t wanna do anything that would soak up additional moisture. In that context, cover crops might not be very applicable, and that’s a much different situation than what we see here in Indiana.

Parts of major, maybe all of Illinois Ohio, Kentucky, et cetera. Right. So it it, this is a question where your response to that question, it’s probably gonna vary depending on the geography.

Michael Langemeier: No, that, no, that’s an excellent point. And we didn’t point out, but about a third of the people in the survey have never used cover crops, and it’s very important when you’re interpreting that particular question. A third have never used cover crops. You gotta remember there’s quite a few people in the, in the Western corn belt, in the great Plains in this survey, and, and they’re, they’re looking at as at preserving moisture and cover crops works against preserving moisture.

James Mintert: I’m compelled to point out this question only went to people that plant cover crops.

Michael Langemeier: Yes, you are right. But I was talking about the more general question that said, did you ever plant a cover crop?

James Mintert: Yeah. Okay. I wanna be specific there. I, a third of the people had never planted a cover crop, so sometimes I have to remind my co-author here.

So on that jovial note, we’ll kind of wrap up today’s podcast. So just to reminder, you can get the full report on the Ag Barometer at We always do the podcast every month. So if you are not currently subscribing and just happen to latch onto this you can subscribe to it. We do release this every month with the release of the Ag Barometer. And of course that’s available on any of the major podcast providers. And you can also listen to it on the web. You don’t have to subscribe if you just wanna listen on your web browser. It’s available at, which is the homepage for the Center for Commercial Agriculture.

And so with that, on behalf of my colleague, Dr. Michael Langemeier and the Center for Commercial Agriculture, thanks for listening. I’m James Mintert.




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U.S. farmers’ perspective on the future improved in March helping to push the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer up 3 points from February to a reading of 114. Purdue ag economists James Mintert and Michael Langemeier share some insight into the results of the March 2024 Ag Economy Barometer survey on this Purdue Commercial AgCast episode.


Modest Improvement In Farmer Sentiment, Yet Financial Concerns Loom

March 5, 2024

The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rose modestly in February posting a reading of 111, 5 points higher than a month earlier. The modest rise in the barometer was attributable to producers expressing somewhat more optimism about the future as the Future Expectations Index rose 7 points to a reading of 115 while the Current Conditions Index was unchanged, both compared to a month earlier. Purdue ag economists James Mintert and Michael Langemeier share some insight into the results of the February 2024 Ag Economy Barometer survey on this Purdue Commercial AgCast episode.



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