Farmers showed more optimism in the latest Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. The May survey reading was 141, 16 points higher than April and the highest since January of last year.
A rating below 100 is negative, while a rating above 100 indicates positive sentiment regarding the agriculture industry. The rise in the barometer, a sentiment index derived from a monthly survey of 400 farmers across the U.S., was driven both by producers improved view of current conditions and, especially, their more optimistic view of the future.
The Index of Current Conditions rose to 132 during May, nine points higher than in April, while the Index of Future Expectations climbed to a reading of 145, 19 points higher than a month earlier.
Organizers say a relaxation in trade tensions between the U.S. and China could account for some of the increase in optimism about the U.S. ag economy.