The May Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer shows a modest uptick in farmer sentiment from April. Farmers are more optimistic about current conditions. Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture Director Jim Mintert says the slight optimism is spillover from the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. “Those payment amounts are going to be substantial and they’re going to be enough to make a difference. There could have also been other factors,” says Mintert. “Planting progress was better for U.S. farmers, for the most part, compared to last year.” Two-thirds of survey respondents say that another economic assistance bill is necessary to help farmers. Mintert isn’t too surprised with most of the survey findings, but one response did catch his attention. Eight of ten farmers say they are somewhat or very concerned about the future viability of the U.S. ethanol industry. “We didn’t know what we’d get on that question and I was pretty surprised,” says Mintert. “There’s more than one thing that’s driven this, but the COVID-19 pandemic exasperated the problem. The markets have improved recently, but it’s still problematic.” Check out the latest barometer readings.
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