A new Ag Barometer shows things may be looking up for America's producers. The Purdue University October barometer has a reading of 136. That is 22 points higher than it was in September. September holds the lowest reading for the survey since 2016. The sentiment improved, thanks to farmers being more optimistic about current and future conditions.
The index of current conditions rose 19 points, and expectations rose 24 points. James Mintert, the barometer's principal investigator and director of Purdue University's Center for Commercial Agriculture says, "The bigger story there is the fact that although the index of current conditions rebounded, it still remains will below where it was last spring before the trade wars erupted. The index of future expectations has increased to the point where it's now pretty comparable to where it was late winter and early spring, so producers are much more optimistic about the future than they are about current conditions."
Producers were asked about the new NAFTA agreement. Just over 60% said the agreement would relieve some of their income concerns. 25% said it would not.
They were also asked about crop prices for next year. In each case, they said they expect to see higher prices. When asked about soybeans for next year, 77% said their acreage would remain the same. However, one in five soybean growers said they planned to reduce it.