Farm Bill Approval and 2nd MFP Payment Increase Farmer Sentiment on Ag Barometer


Source: Purdue University News Service

via Hoosier Ag Today - Feb 5, 2019


Agricultural producers were more optimistic about the agricultural economy in January, but they remain concerned about farmland values, according to results from the January Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. The barometer, which is based on 400 survey responses from agricultural producers across the country, rebounded to a reading of 143 in January, a 16 point improvement from December.


“This survey provided us with the first opportunity to measure farmers’ sentiment following the announcement of USDA’s second round of Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments and the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill,” said James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. “It appears that these two announcements provided a significant boost to producer sentiment regarding both current and future economic conditions,” said Mintert.


In January, both of the barometer’s two sub-indices saw an uptick since December, with the Index of Current Conditions rising to 132 from 109 and the Index of Future Expectations rising to 148 from 135.


Increases were also seen in the Large Farm Investment Index, which measures whether producers feel this is a “good time” or a “bad time” to make large farm investments like machinery or buildings. Over the past few months, producers have been slowly expressing a more favorable view towards making large investments in their farming operations, with the index climbing 11 points from December and up 20 points from September, when the investment index bottomed out.


However, the same cannot be said for farmland values. According to the January survey, the percentage expecting higher farmland values over the next 12 months declined from 17 to 13 percent in December and, when asked to look ahead 5 years, producers expecting higher farmland values declined 2 points to 48 percent...


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Farm Bill Sign-Up Is Weeks Away, Says USDA’s Censky


By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming - 2/5/2019


The USDA will move “just as quickly and prudently as we can” in implementing the 2018 farm policy law, but it is weeks away from a sign-up period for farm supports, said Deputy Agriculture Secretary Steve Censky on Tuesday.


“I’ll be able to tell you more in a couple of weeks,” Censky said when asked about sign-up. The 2018 law gives farmers the first chance in five years to switch between ARC and PLC, with analysts expecting corn, soybean, and wheat growers to enroll heavily in PLC because it offers better protection...