May 21, 2024

Farmer sentiment stable, inflation expectations subside

Ag Economy Barometer

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer lowered one point in December compared to November — indicating stability in farmers’ perceptions about the ag economy.

According to the report, inflation expectations for the upcoming year were markedly lower than those reported a year ago for 2023.

Farmers reported another improvement in their farms’ financial performance in December.

“The shift in farmers’ perception of financial performance during the fall quarter corresponds with USDA’s more optimistic 2023 farm income outlook released in late November, which was $10 billion higher than their previous forecast,” said James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator.

U.S. farmer sentiment is stable as inflation expectations subside.

Other report takeaways:

• The Farm Capital Investment Index reading of 43 was only one point above November’s, but it marked a 13-point increase compared to the same period last year.

• High input costs continue to be concerning for U.S. farmers, although a notable shift in concerns took place as 2023 unfolded. Farmers concerned about the risk of lower prices for crops and livestock increased from 16% of respondents in January to over one-fourth, at 26%, by December.

• No. 3 on the list of concerns for the upcoming year was “rising interest rates,” chosen by 24% of farmers in December’s survey.

• Producers’ inflation expectations moderated, with 70% expecting inflation in 2024 to be less than 4%.

• When asked about interest rates, about one-third of respondents said they anticipate rates declining in 2024 while 22% expect no change in interest rates in the upcoming year.

• Perspectives on farmland values weakened slightly in December compared to November.

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

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor