The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rose 27 points to a reading of 183 in October, setting an all-time high for the index. Farmers were more optimistic about both the future and current financial situations on their farms.
The Current Conditions Index rose 36 points to a reading of 178, and the Future Expectations Index climbed 23 points to a reading of 186. Since bottoming out this summer, the ag economy has rebounded sharply, and the dramatic improvement in sentiment mirrors the turnaround in the farm income picture. Organizers say the early fall rally in commodity prices combined with government program payments boosted farm income.
Corn and soybean prices continued to rally even though U.S. corn yields are expected to set a record high, and USDA projects soybean yields to be the fourth highest on record. Comparing their farm’s financial condition today to one year ago, 25 percent of survey respondents said their farm was better off financially now than at the same time last year.