Ag Economy Barometer Reaches Three-year Low

Commodity price declines, supply-chain disruptions, and coronavirus concerns pushed the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer down to a three-year low in April. The barometer recorded a reading of 96, marking the first time the barometer has fallen below 100 since October 2016. April’s reading was also a 72 point drop from February’s record high numbers.

The Ag Economy Barometer is based on responses from 400 U.S. agricultural producers and this month’s survey was conducted from April 19-24.

Producers’ expectations for current and future agricultural economic conditions also declined sharply. The Index of Current Conditions suffered its largest one-month drop, down 39 points in April to a reading of 72, and the Index of Future Expectations fell 18 points to a reading of 108.

In the April survey, two-thirds of respondents indicated they were “very worried” or “fairly worried about the impact of coronavirus on their farm’s profitability. More than half said they anticipate applying for one of the federal government’s COVID-19 related financial assistance programs.

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