Farmer Sentiment Improves in June

Farmer sentiment as measured in the monthly Ag Economy Barometer improved in June. The rise in sentiment compared to May was influenced by a rise in crop prices coupled with USDA’s announcement of a 2019 Market Facilitation Program and congressional passage of a Disaster Aid Bill.

The Ag Economy Barometer rebounded to 126, which was 25 points higher than a month earlier. The greatest gain came in responses to what farmers’ expectations are of the future. That sub-index increased by 33 points over May, which eliminated the two-month decline that took place beginning in April.

The Index of Current Conditions improved by 13 points, a reading which remains below the sentiment from earlier this spring.

Farmers remained cautious in June on the possibility of making large farm investments. The percentage of farmers who said now was a good time to make large investments rose slightly from 18 percent in May to 20 percent in June. The percentage who said it was a bad time to make large investments declined slightly to 78 percent in June from 81 percent in May. The result was a modest improvement in the Large Farm Investment Index to a reading of 42 from 37 a month earlier.

The barometer is based upon a nationwide monthly survey of 400 U.S. agricultural producers conducted by Purdue University and the CME Group.

In response to a question about whether farmers think the trade dispute with China will ultimately be resolved in a way that benefits U.S. agriculture, 69 percent of farmers said they believed it would. In March, the percentage of farmers who expected a favorable outcome was 77. In May, it was 65.