What’s left in your pocket?
Most producers – 73% – expect lower farm income this year because of the trade war, according to a Purdue poll conducted before Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. agreed on a replacement for NAFTA. Economists James Mintert and Michael Langemeier say trade conflicts are “a source of angst among U.S. farmers.” Half of all farmers expect income to fall by more than 10%.
The poll, conducted as part of Purdue’s Ag Economy Barometer, finds farmers in a dour mood. Some 54% say their operations were worse off now than a year ago; 33% say they expect to be in still worse shape a year from now. Some 69% of respondents say they see hard times for the U.S. ag economy in the upcoming 12 months. The pessimistic ratings are roughly double the sentiment expressed during the summer.
“Concerns about the impact of trade conflicts with major agricultural trading partners, especially China, continue to reverberate throughout the U.S. production agriculture sector,” say Mintert and Langemeier. “This year’s huge corn and soybean crops, low market prices, and prospects of burdensome stocks have compounded those concerns.”