The Ag Economy Barometer drifted lower in January to a reading of 167, a drop of seven points from December. That 167 reading is equal to November’s figure.
Organizers say the barometer’s decline over the last three months is attributable to weaker expectations for the future. The Index of Future Expectations has fallen 35 points or about 19% since October. The decline in future expectations stands in contrast to the Index of Current Conditions, which in January was 21 points, or about 12%, higher than in October.
Ongoing strength in the Current Conditions Index appears to be driven by crop price strength. However, the deterioration in the Futures Expectations Index seems to be motivated by concerns about future environmental and tax policies and the outcome of the trade dispute with China.
Meanwhile, three out of ten farms are aware of opportunities to receive carbon capture payments on their farms, and about one-fifth of those farms have engaged in discussions about contracting to receive payments.
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