Chip Flory and I recently spoke to Purdue University’s Dr. Jim Mintert about Purdue’s most recent Ag Economy Barometer. Flory observed the wild swings in farmer sentiments the Barometer has reported, and Dr. Mintert agreed saying, “It is important to remember how dramatic the changes have been, especially in crop agriculture, but really across the board during calendar year 2019.”
Dr. Mintert noted a steep decline in sentiments from the prior month’s report, attributing that to a rise in corn and soybean prices in June and July, and then the subsequent price retreat as playing a major role in attitudes across farm country. Dr. Mintert said, “The big swings we have seen have been reflective of the wild year we have seen so far.”
Flory asked if the volatility in attitudes was an indication of a coming storm for agriculture. Dr. Mintert replied, “This month, the biggest drop was in the Index of Future Expectations, and that tells me people are worried about the future. You said a ‘storm’ and I do think people are trying to batten down the hatches.”
Dr. Mintert noted a fair amount of concern and anxiety in farm country regarding trade, and what the prolonged impacts of the U.S./China trade war might be on earning potential and land values in the not-too-distant future. Dr. Mintert pointed to hardships within the transport industry as a sign that the financial impacts depressed commodity prices are having on the farm are rippling out into other sectors.
Dr. Mintert continued to speak on future expectations, the impacts of MFP payments and planting season woes. We will highlight the specifics in Purdue’s Ag Economy Barometer in this month’s LandOwner Newsletter, but Dr. Jim Mintert’s thoughts on AgriTalk Radio are certainly worth a listen. Tap or click the audio below to hear the conversation from September 4.
Click here to view the Purdue University CME Ag Economy Barometer report.