The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer improved in April, rising eight points to a reading of 121.
However, that remains 32 percent below its level from the same time last year. Producer perspectives on current conditions and future expectations saw an uptick over the past month. The Index of Current Conditions improved seven points to a reading of 120, and the Index of Future Expectations rose nine points to a reading of 122.
Rising commodity prices, especially for corn and soybeans, appear to be the reasons behind producers’ improved financial outlook. Even with improved prices, producers say rising input costs are the top concern for their farming operation. In April, 42 percent of producers surveyed chose higher input costs as their biggest concern, which was more than twice as many who chose government policies or lower output prices.
Sixty percent of respondents expect input prices to rise by 30 percent over the next year.