Ag producer confidence rises slightly in June

Agricultural producer sentiment rose slightly in June, according to the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.

The increase was unexpected given unresolved trade war concerns and sharp price declines for key commodities, including corn, wheat and soybeans during the month.

The June barometer reading of 143 was only 2 points higher than May. The barometer is based on a monthly survey of 400 agricultural producers from across the country.

Each month the survey asks producers whether they expect “good times” or “bad times” in U.S. agriculture, both one year and five years ahead. In June, respondents provided mixed responses with many producers shifting to “neutral” and away from a “good” or “bad” response, which suggests a rise in uncertainty for the future, Purdue said.

Several times a year, the barometer also asks producers if they expect prices for key commodities to move higher, lower or remain unchanged over the next 12 months. Compared to the beginning of 2018, producers have been slowly signaling that they expect commodity prices to recede, and this trend continued in June with an increase in the percentage of producers expecting lower prices, Purdue said.