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Report: Farmer sentiment weakens again in March

Commodity price outlook, interest rate concerns cloud producer sentiment.

March ag economy barometer Purdue University

Farmer sentiment weakened again in March as the Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer fell 8 points to a reading of 117.

This month’s survey was conducted from March 13-17, 2023, which coincided with the demise of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. Producers expressed less confidence both in the current and future situations on their farms and in U.S. agriculture.

  • Price declines for wheat, corn and soybeans during late February and early March likely contributed to weaker sentiment as did concerns about disruption in the U.S. banking sector.
  • Although producers still cite high input costs as their top concern for their farm operations in the upcoming year, they are becoming more worried about rising interest rates and the impact those higher rates will have on their operations.
  • Farmers are becoming less confident that farmland values will continue to rise in the short run with one out of five producers saying they expect values to weaken in the next 12 months.
  • Producers’ longer-term farmland outlook remains more positive than in the short-run, although the percentage of farmers who expect farmland values to weaken over the next five years is up compared to this time last year and two years ago.
  • 88% of producers surveyed this month expect growth in the renewable diesel industry to boost soybean prices in the next five years with 21% of respondents expecting a soybean price rise of $1 or more per bushel.

Download the full report here.

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