Agricultural producer sentiment rose slightly last month after a big dip in July, according to the latest Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer reading. The barometer, which is based on a monthly survey of 400 agricultural producers, had an August reading of 129, 12 points higher than July but well below readings from May and June. James Mintert, the barometer’s principal investigator and director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, said producers are uncertain about the Trump administration’s aid package for farmers and ranchers hurt by the president’s tariff policies. The uptick in the August barometer derived largely from producers’ improved perception of the current situation, as the Index of Current Conditions rose to 121 from 99 in July. The Index of Future Expectations also rose, but the increase was to 132, just 6 points above its July reading. Before the August survey was conducted, USDA announced its plan to aid farmers hurt by importers’ tariffs. When asked specifically about the relief plan’s expected impact, farmers were split on whether they believed it addressed concerns about tariffs’ impact on their farm’s income, with 47 percent saying “not at all” and a total of 47 percent saying either “completely” (4 percent) or “somewhat” (43 percent).
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