Farmer sentiment about the economy inched higher according to the monthly Purdue University-CME Group ag barometer.

The reading is based on surveys with 400 farmers. It increased to 130, which is slightly higher than last month’s reading of 124.

In comparison to a year ago, positive sentiments have increased 23 percent.

“The biggest surprise on this month’s report is the fact that we’ve got tis on going increase in the current conditions index that’s somewhat surprising in part because many producers seem to feel like the worst of the ag downturn is behind them,” said Jim Mintert, director of the Center for Commercial Ag at Purdue University.

Mintert says the survey results continue to suggest that producer optimism is rooted in more than expectations for an improvement in grain prices and revenues.