A measurement of the state of mind in farm country showed little change in July and remains far lower than levels observed prior to the pandemic.

The July reading of the Ag Economy Barometer, a monthly indicator of farmer sentiment conducted by Purdue University and the CME Group, was 118, a drop of about 30% from the record highs the indicator observed in February, but a little over 18% higher than the sharp drop reported in April. Producers also reported an improved view of current conditions, but a slightly more pessimistic opinion of future expectations.

Some indicators also show producer concern about the coronavirus is slipping. In March, 74% of the survey’s respondents said they were “fairly worried” or “very worried” about the impact of the coronavirus on their farm’s profitability. In July, that figure dropped to 61%, with almost all of the change coming from a drop in producers being “very worried.”

However, about two-thirds of respondents say Congress “needs to pass another bill to provide economic support to farmers as a result of the pandemic,” this month’s report noted.

The survey was conducted by phone July 20-24 and included responses from 400 producers.

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