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Farmers Pessimistic About Ag Economy

Derek Gavey
flickr Creative Commons

Low prices mean many farmers are facing tough times. As Harvest Public Media’s Jeremy Bernfeld explains, farmers think that’s not likely to let up.

Bumper harvest after bumper harvest has plunged prices for important crops like corn and soybeans.

Jim Mintert is a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University. In a recent survey, his team found the vast majority of farmers expect bad financial times over the next year. More than a quarter said they expect prices to dip below what it takes to break even.

“People that think that are really pulling back," Mintert says. "They’ve really battened down the hatches and are trying to hold back on every possible expenditure if you think that’s a likelihood.”

If farmers cut back on buying equipment or expensive seeds and fertilizers, Mintert says the rural economy could take a hit.