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Farmers Are Optimistic About The Economy’s Future

Farmers rounded out the year 2019 generally optimistic about the state of the economy and the future. That’s according to the Ag Economy Barometer, a monthly report calculated by Purdue University.

Michael Langemeier is a professor at Purdue and helps put the barometer together. He says it was volatile throughout the last year amid trade concerns with China and the tough growing season. But, he says, it ended on a high note.

“I think for some people at least, or for quite a few people, the yields were higher than they expected them to be, and prices were a little stronger than people expected them to be,” he said.

Langemeier says the December barometer also showed that farmers are generally more positive about the future than they are about current conditions.

“We’re having a rough stretch here, particularly related to exports,” he said. “But when this is all resolved, U.S. agriculture is going to be even stronger.”

The barometer focuses on economic drivers like farm profitability, land values, and commodity prices, and is based on farmers’ responses to questions about trade, the Farm Bill, and more.

Picture of Dana Cronin

Dana Cronin

Dana Cronin covers food and agriculture for Illinois Newsroom. Her work has reached both national and regional audiences through WILL's partnership with Harvest Public Media, an ag-focused Midwest reporting collaborative. Prior to Illinois Newsroom, she worked at NPR headquarters in Washington D.C. and for other member stations including KQED in San Francisco and 91.5 KRCC in Colorado Springs, CO. ➤ DCronin@illinois.edu@DanaHCronin

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