A monthly survey of how farmers and ranchers view the agricultural economy was unchanged in November as producers digested the results of the midterm elections.
The Ag Economy Barometer from Purdue University and the CME Group conducted its monthly survey of 400 producers Nov. 14-18, one week after the election results and amid vote tallies that gave Republicans enough seats to hold the House majority. Multiple media outlets concluded Nov. 16 that Republicans had won House control.
The overall November index of farmer sentiment was unchanged from October, but there was a decline of three points to a reading of 98 in a separate index of farmers' perceptions of current conditions. The index of future expectations rose two points to 104.
“Producers are continuing to look at their bottom line,” said Purdue economist Jim Mintert. “Rising interest rates combined with high input and energy costs are creating a lot of uncertainty at the farm level.”
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The latest survey also asked how producers have been grappling with high energy prices. More than a quarter said they’ve made changes in their operation due to the rising costs; of those who have made changes, 33% have reduced tillage and 24% said they have reduced nitrogen rates or changed application timing. Some 24% also signified they had made some “other” change, which was frequently further identified as using solar panels or contracting fuel needs.
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