Weakening Crop Prices, High Production Costs Weigh on Farmer Sentiment

Agricultural producers’ sentiment declined for the second month in a row during September. The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer fell nine points to a reading of 106.

Producers expressed concern about both their current situation as well as future prospects for their farms. The Current Conditions and Futures Expectations Indices both declined ten points in September, leaving the Current Conditions Index at a reading of 98 while the Future Expectations Index stood at 109. Weakening prices for major crops and ongoing concerns about high production costs and interest rates weighed on producers’ minds this month.

September’s declines left all three indices below year-ago levels. Despite the weak sentiment reading, producers remain relatively optimistic about farmland values as expressed by both the short and long-term farmland values indices.

The September survey also included several questions to learn more about cover crops. Just over half of the corn and soybean growers surveyed said they currently plant cover crops on a portion of their acreage.