The June update to the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer saw its reading rise 17 points to 121. The increase was due to producers’ more optimistic view of the future as the Index of Future Expectations rose to 123. The Index of Current Conditions reading, at 116, was the same as in May.
Forty percent of surveyed farmers said their farming operation was worse off than one year earlier, up from 37% who said the same in May. Another 20% said they expect their finances to improve over the next year, up from 13% who said the same in May.
The Farm Capital Investment Index showed a reading of 42 in June, up from 37 in May. Almost 75% of respondents said they view this as a bad time to make large investments in their farm operation, and 16% said it’s a good time to make investments. For 37% of respondents, the rising prices of farm machinery and new construction was the primary reason they consider now a bad time to make large investments. This was followed by rising interest rates at 35%, its highest percentage since July 2022.
Some 36% of farmers said higher input costs were their top concern for 2024, still the most selected option. This was followed by lower crop and/or livestock prices and rising interest rates, which were each picked as a top concern by 20% of growers.