Farmers reported less optimism in August, according to the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. While producer sentiment is significantly off of its January high, it’s still much higher than it was all of last year. The researchers speculate the current downturn is due to lower grain and oilseed prices.
The survey included a new question this time around, asking famers how they thought other farmers in their area were feeling about the current agricultural economy. Seven in 10 said they thought their neighbors were pessimistic, with the other three characterizing their neighbors as optimistic.
There was also a small uptick in the percentage of farmers who said their operation was financially worse off than a year ago. It now stands at 41%, up from the all-time low of 39% it hit last month. However, more farmers expect their profitability to improve over the next 12 months compared to their expectations in August 2016.