Farmers’ outlook on the economy decreased slightly in August, according to a monthly survey from Purdue University and the CME Group.

The overall rating of farmer sentiment dropped to a reading of 115 in the Ag Economy Barometer, down from 123 in July following a 121 rating in June. The rating is also relatively similar to August 2022, when the number was 117. 

According to the survey, “among producers with a negative view of the investment climate, the increase in prices for farm machinery and new construction along with rising interest rates were the two most commonly cited reasons for their negative view.” 

The survey also showed about 60% of producers expect interest rates to rise in the upcoming year.

Asked about their farming operations, about one-third of producers said higher input costs were their top concern. About one quarter — 24% — ranked rising interest rates as their second highest concern. Despite a summer of weakening crop prices, producers ranked declining commodity prices as their third highest concern, at 20%.

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This month’s survey asked about carbon contracts in row-crop agriculture. In August, some 6% of producers said they had been in contact with companies about receiving payment for carbon capture on their land, while only 2% said they had actually signed a contract. 

Among the producers who had discussed contract terms, 47% of them said that the payment rate offered was between $10 to $20 per metric ton. Of those who opted not to sign a contract, about half said that it was because the payment was too low.

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