The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer dropped five points to 125 in February. Farmers’ perspectives regarding both current conditions on their farms and their expectations for the future also weakened during the month.
The Index of Current Conditions dipped two points to 134, and the Index of Future Expectations declined six points to 121. Several factors are weighing on producers’ minds, including the risk of falling commodity prices, rising interest rates, and uncertainty over the future growth of agricultural exports. The Farm Financial Performance Index dropped seven points to a reading of 86. Despite strong farm income, the February reading of the Farm Capital Investment Index didn’t change much, rising one point to a reading of 43.
This month, 72 percent of producers said it’s a bad time to make large investments in their farming operation, while just 15 percent said it’s the right time to make those investments.