Regulations, trade, and taxes are topping the list of farmer fears as the presidential election has now come and gone.
The Ag Economy Barometer, a monthly measurement of producer sentiment released by Purdue University and the CME Group, dropped to a reading of 167 in November. This is 16 points below the record high of 183 in October.
"This is the opposite of what happened following the November 2016 election," Jim Mintert, director of Purdue's Center for Commercial Agriculture, said in a statement. "That year producers became much more optimistic about the future following the election and, in turn, that optimism about the future helped drive the Ag Economy Barometer up sharply in late 2016 and early 2017."
The barometer is based on surveys of 400 ag producers each month; November's surveys were conducted Nov. 9-13.
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The Index of Future Expectations fell 30 points to a reading of 156 and was driven by farmer pessimism toward the future of the farm economy. But the second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments and rallying commodity prices helped the Index of Current Conditions rise 9 points to 187, an all-time high for that index.
In the November survey, 77% of respondents said they expect more restrictive environmental regulations in the next five years compared to 41% who felt that way in October. Some 66% of respondents said they expect higher income tax rates for farms and ranches in the next five years. Only 35% of respondents felt that way in October.
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