According to the latest DTN/The Progressive Farmer Agriculture Confidence Index – farmers are less optimistic about the ag economy now than they were after last year’s harvest. While down from December’s index of 109.1 – the index still reflects an overall positive outlook at 106.9. The composite Agriculture Confidence Index accounts for how farmers feel about their present and future situations. A value of 100 is considered neutral. Higher values indicate optimism and values lower than 100 indicate pessimism. When split into different time frames – the assessment of the present situation came in at 135.3 – a strong positive reading. But the expectations farmers have for the year ahead came in at 88.2 – a firmly negative perspective.
The view from agribusiness owners is better than it was after last year’s grain harvest. The overall index value increased from 100.7 to 104.3. Their assessment of the present situation dropped to 112.7 – while their expectations for the future gained 8.4-points – reaching 98.5. The agribusiness composite index is 93.3. While providing a better outlook than after harvest – agribusinesses still aren’t as optimistic as they were one year ago. The Agribusiness Index was 111.1 last year – and expectations for the year ahead were 10 points higher than they are now.
To get the Agriculture Confidence Index – 500 farmers and ranchers across the country were surveyed between March 1st and March 11th. Surveys are conducted before planting, before harvest and after harvest. The agribusiness index is based on responses collected from 100 agribusinesses between February 26th and March 4th. The questions focus on current sales, profitability and overall business prospects.