Farmers had more optimism about the agriculture economy in January than they had in previous months. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have concerns. The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer says one of their biggest worries is farmland values.
The January reading of 143 was a 16-point jump over December. The survey was the first opportunity to measure how farmers were feeling after the second round of Market Facilitation Payments came out, as well as how they felt about the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. Those two announcements gave a positive shot in the arm to producers’ sentiments on both their current and future economic conditions.
The January Index of Current Conditions jumped from 109 in December to 132 in January. The Index of Future Expectations rose from 135 to 148. The January survey also included early planting intentions. The survey asked farmers who planted soybeans last year what their plans are in 2019.
Two-thirds of the farmers who responded to the survey say their soybean acreage won’t change from last year. However, 25 percent of soybean producers will be looking to reduce their soybean acreage compared to what it was last year.