WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — According to the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, farmers were more optimistic about the agricultural economy in July than they’ve been in quite some time.

The results are based on a survey of 400 producers across the country.

“The index for the Ag Economy Barometer rose pretty sharply this month to a reading of 153, up from 126 a month ago, and all the way up from 101 two months ago,” said Jim Mintert, director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture at Purdue.

“That’s the largest two-month increase we’ve ever had since we started collecting data in 2015.”

The indexes of current and of future expectations both rose.

“The sentiment improvement was also reflected in farmers having a more positive view of making large investments on their farming operation,” said Mintert. “The large-farm investment index rose from a reading of 42 in June to a reading of 67 in July.”

Farmers also had a more positive attitude with respect to farmland values.

Short term, the percentage of producers expecting land values to increase in the upcoming 12 months jumped from just 10% in June to 21% in July, the highest percentage expecting an increase in values since February 2018.

In the long term, 53% of producers said they expect values to rise over the next five years compared to 45% who felt that way in June and 39% in May.

The survey also asked farmers if they think the trade dispute with China will ultimately be resolved in a way that benefits U.S. agriculture.

In July, 78% of respondents said they expected a favorable outcome to the trade dispute.

View the complete report at www.ag.purdue.edu/commercialag/ageconomybarometer.

Erica Quinlan can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 193, or equinlan@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Quinlan.

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