Producer Confidence Index Rebounds

Cindy ZimmermanGeneral

dtn-progressive-farmerFarmers and ranchers were more optimistic by the end of the year in 2014 than they were before the harvest, according DTN/The Progressive Farmer which has been tracking the Agribusiness Confidence Index (ACI) since 2010.

Producers’ overall confidence index increased about four percent in December compared to August when the value fell below 100% (neutral) for the first time since DTN/The Progressive Farmer began the ACI survey in April 2010. Values above 100 indicate optimism, whereas values below signify pessimism.

“Overall, the producer pendulum swung back into optimistic territory from a negative reading prior to harvest, said DTN Markets Editor Katie Micik, director of the confidence index. “This upward shift actually came from improving expectations for the year ahead, which outweigh a decline in producers’ ratings of their present situation.”

Livestock producer confidence remained positive at the end of the year but less so than they were earlier in 2014. Livestock producers are highly favorable of current conditions but their expectations for the future are on the pessimistic side.

“This possibly reflects the expansion in hog production and the corresponding decline in prices. It could also be an indicator of a larger calf crop headed for feeding,” said Micik.

As for income, 71 percent of all producers believe their current net farm income will get better or stay the same, which is down from 81 percent in December 2013.