American farmers were more optimistic in September. The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer climbed to 156, the highest reading for the index since the pandemic began last winter and 12 points higher than one-month earlier. Since July, the index is up 38 points and is 60 points higher than its 2020 low established back in April. In September, producers were more optimistic about current conditions and the future for agriculture than in August.

The Current Conditions Index, with a reading of 142, was 18 points higher compared to a month earlier and the Future Expectations Index rose nine points to a reading of 163. Organizers say The Department of Agriculture’s announcement of the second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments to producers and the ongoing rally in fall crop prices were likely the two primary drivers behind the improvement.

Farmers were also more optimistic about making investments in their farming operation and about the short-run outlook for farmland values than they were in August.

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