Barometer Reading Shows Long-Term Optimism for Farmland Values

Collette Schultz

By Ashley Davenport
Farm Journal Broadcast Multimedia Editor

Video Shows Positive For Farmland Values

Farmers seem optimistic that farmland values will improve, but it may take a while to get there, according to the latest monthly ag barometer from Purdue University and the CME Group.

Of the 400 agricultural producers who were surveyed in May, 19 percent thought farmland values in their area would be higher in 12 months than currently. In contrast, 30 percent say they expect farmland values to decline over the next year.

Looking five years in the future, 40 percent said they expect farmland prices will be higher in than they are today. That’s twice as many farmers who are more optimistic about land in the long term.

“When you stretch out the time frame, it’s clear that producers are more optimistic about farmland values than they are in the short run,” said James Mintert, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University.

Overall, the barometer of farmer sentiment is unchanged from last month. However, Mintert says producer’s outlook is considerably stronger now than what it was a year ago or last fall prior to the election.

The survey also asked farmers about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). A clear majority, 83 percent, believe it should be renegotiated, and six out of ten believe the outcome will benefit U.S. farmers.

“In several of our previous ag economy barometer surveys, 93 percent of the respondents rated ag exports as important to the ag economy and 80 percent of producers rated ag exports as important for their own farm, so we know ag producers definitely view ag exports as important,” said Mintert.