Monday, January 04, 2016

Confidence level of crop and livestock producers reaches all time low, according to DTN survey

The confidence level of crop and livestock producers has reached an all-time low, according to the DTN/The Progressive Farmer Agriculture Confidence Index (ACI), which dates back to 2010, states DTN. Producers' overall confidence was at 92.7, down from 99.4 in August and 103.4 one year ago. Concerns over their current situation dropped to 92.2, from 101.5 in August and 113.3 in December 2014. Farmers' expectations about the future was at 93.1, down from 98 in August. "The value of 100 is considered neutral. Values above 100 indicate optimism, whereas values below signify pessimism."

ACI, which surveyed 500 crop and livestock producers from Nov. 2 to Nov. 25, "measures the sentiments of crop and livestock producers on their overall agriculture sector impressions," states DTN. The survey is conducted three times per year, before planting, before harvest and after harvest. "Producers also rate current and long-term input prices and net farm income to gauge their attitudes toward the present situation and future expectations."

Overall, 53 percent of farmers described input prices as bad, up from 48 percent in August, the fifth consecutive survey in which numbers increased, states DTN. "Eighty-three percent of farmers surveyed believe input prices will stay the same or get worse over the next 12 months . . . 44 percent rated farm income as bad, and 42 percent said income was normal . . . For just the second time in the index's history, both crop and livestock producers have a pessimistic confidence score, with crop producers at 91.0 and livestock producers at 96.4."

"Crop producers' attitudes remain pessimistic on their current situation and future expectations," states DTN. "The index rating on their current situation fell from 92.0 in August to an all-time index low of 86.5, and future expectations also dropped into the pessimistic range from 101.8 before harvest to now 94.1."

"With the combination of low prices and the high concentration of corn and soybean acreage in the Midwest, producers in that region are the most pessimistic about their overall confidence (85.3), current situation (79.8) and future expectations (89.0)," states DTN. "The overall index scores were slightly higher in the Southeast (96.8) and Southwest (98.0). Expectations for the future remain solidly pessimistic for producers in the Southeast (87.2) and Southwest (95.3). Unlike Midwest producers, Southeast and Southwest producers still have optimistic ratings for their current situations at 111.1 and 102.1, respectively." (Read more)

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