The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer dipped to a reading of 113 in March, the weakest farmer sentiment reading since May 2020, the early days of the pandemic.
The March reading was 12 points lower than a month earlier and 36% lower than in March 2021. The decline in the barometer was driven both by weaker perceptions of current conditions and expectations for the future. Compared to February, the March Index of Current Conditions declined 19 points to 113 and the Index of Future Expectations declined 9 points to 113.
When compared to a year earlier, producers’ appraisal of current conditions was down 44% while their expectations for the future fell 31%. The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer sentiment index is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey. This month’s survey was conducted from March 14-18, 2022.