Farmer Optimism Lower in Latest Ag Economy Barometer

U.S. farmers sentiment weakened following the November 2020 elections. The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer fell 16 points from a month earlier to a reading of 167. Although this month’s reading was nearly equal to the pre-pandemic high set back in February, it was nine percent lower than the reading taken just two weeks before the 2020 elections. Organizers say the decline resulted from weakened expectations for the future, as the Index of Future Expectations declined to a reading of 156 in November, 30 points below the October reading. On the other hand, farmers perception of current conditions on their farms improved. The Index of Current Conditions, lifted by the ongoing rally in agricultural commodity prices, rose by nine points from October to November, setting a record high for the index of 187. However, farmers have concerns about future regulation impact on agriculture, potential higher estate taxes, and reduced support for the ethanol industry.