Interest Rates Help Drive Farmer Sentiment Lower

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer’s farmer sentiment index dropped five points to 112 in September. The drop in farmer sentiment was primarily the result of producers’ weakened perception of current conditions. The Current Conditions Index dropped nine points to 109, and the Index of Future Expectations dropped three points to 113. Concerns about input costs and, in some cases, availability are key factors behind the relative weakness in this month’s farmer sentiment. A growing number of producers expressed concern about the impact of rising interest rates on their operations. High input costs were cited as the number one concern by 44 percent of the survey respondents, while 23 percent chose rising interest rates. Another 14 percent of respondents chose input availability as their biggest worry. The Farm Capital Investment Index also dropped as producers continue to indicate now is not a good time to make large investments in their farms.

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