WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA, US — US farmers’ sentiment returned to pre-pandemic levels with the expectation of excellent crop yields and a rally in ag commodity prices, according to the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.

The August barometer rose to a reading of 144, 26 points higher than the July reading. The barometer and its two sub-indices posted their most positive readings since February.  

The Ag Economy Barometer is calculated each month from 400 US agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey. This month’s survey was conducted from Aug. 17-21.

The Index of Current Conditions rose 13 points in August to a reading of 124 while the Index of Future Expectations rose 33 points to a reading of 154.

Farmers were more optimistic about farmland values this month in the short and long term. They are also more optimistic about trade prospects. The percentage of producers expecting exports to rise increased to 67%, from 55% to 57% earlier this year.

“Although this is still less optimistic than in late 2019 and early 2020 when 70% to 72% of respondents said they expected to see ag exports increase, it was a notable departure in sentiment when compared to the April to July time frame and could be based in part on rising export sales to China this summer,” report authors said.

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