A monthly survey of the state of mind for producers shows respondents have fairly consistent views about their current status but have growing concern about what lies ahead.

The Ag Economy Barometer, a monthly measurement of farmer sentiment from Purdue University and the CME Group, dipped seven points in January largely on a decline in the barometer’s Index of Future Expectations. That index has dropped about 19% since October while a similar measurement of current conditions has risen about 12% in the same time period.

“The ongoing strength in the Current Conditions Index appears to be driven by the ongoing rally in crop prices, while the deterioration in the Futures Expectations Index seems to be motivated by longer-run concerns about policies that could impact U.S. agriculture in the future,” Jim Mintert with Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, said in a statement.

Farmers specifically anticipate more restrictive environmental regulations, higher estate taxes, and higher income taxes in the next five years. A growing percentage of producers — 43% in the most recent survey — also expect higher farmland prices in the next year.

The January survey also gauged the willingness of producers to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Of the survey’s 400 respondents, 58% said they will get vaccinated as soon as possible, another 14% said they plan to get vaccinated, but not right away, and 28% said they did not plan to get vaccinated.

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