According to the most recent Ag Economy Barometer update from Purdue University, the Ag Economy Barometer rose in March to 177, the highest reading for the barometer since the record high reading of 184 in October.
The report stated that, "This month’s 12-point rise in the barometer was attributable almost entirely to ag producers’ more optimistic view of the future as the Index of Future Expectations climbed to 164, 16 points above February’s index. Although the Index of Current Conditions, at 202, changed little from a month earlier when it stood at 200, it did mark a return to the index’s record high, first reached in December. Strong ag commodity prices and improved farm financial conditions continue to support the Ag Economy Barometer readings as we head into spring."
Purdue's Farm Capital Investment Index was unchanged from the previous month with a reading of 88. A year ago, farmers’ confidence in the ag economy was plummeting and the investment index stood at just 54. This month’s investment index is 63 percent higher than it was in March 2020.
Additionally, the percentage of farmers planning to increase farm equipment purchases rose to 11% from 9% in the previous month, while the percentage planning to hold their purchases constant dipped two points to 53%.