Despite harvest challenges in many parts of the country, farmers last month reported a positive stance on the farm economy.

The Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, which surveys some 400 ag producers across the country, rose for the second month in a row. The number grew 17 points to a reading of 153 for November compared to 134 in November 2018.

“The current conditions index is what drove the barometer higher,” Jim Mintert, director for the Center for Commercial Agriculture at Purdue University, told Agri-Pulse. “A big chunk of that was wrapping up harvest ... not a great harvest by any means but a better harvest than they expected two or three months ago.”

The Index of Current Conditions rose significantly by 38 points to reading of 153 and the Index of Future Expectations rose modestly, up 7 points to a reading of 153. More producers feel current and future economic conditions will improve.

Mintert noted nearly all of the observations were collected before the Department of Agriculture made its most recent announcement for another Market Facilitation Program payment.

“I don’t think the current round of MFP payments factored into it,” Mintert said. However, he said people were feeling better about the current status of their farming operations than they had earlier in the year.

The Farm Capital Investment Index rose to a reading of 71 in November, which is its highest reading since February 2018 and 12 points above October's index value of 59.

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