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DTN CONFIDENCE INDEX SHOW FARMERS ARE OPTIMISTIC DESPITE CHALLENGING 2019
Source: DTN/The Progressive Farmer news release



Omaha - A long, drawn-out crop year and ongoing trade battles didn't dampen farmers' moods, as they ended 2019 with new optimism and were solid in their support for the Trump administration.

The DTN/The Progressive Farmer Agriculture Confidence Index has risen to 164.1 in December 2019, significantly higher than the Index of 110.2 in March and the December 2018 level of 109.2.

Farmers were surveyed in mid-to-late December. About 75% of farmers said that if the 2020 presidential election was held at that time, they would vote to reelect the current administration.

About a quarter said they would likely not vote for the current administration. The question was asked without respondents knowing who an alternative candidate would be.

Both farmer confidence and their support of the president is noteworthy, given events going on at that time. Grain farmers had just finished a long, wet harvest, and some farmers in the upper Midwest still had fields to harvest. The Trump administration in December promised to have a trade deal signed with China within a month, although similar previous promises had not come to pass. That phase-one trade deal was signed Jan. 15, and included the promise that China will double its purchases of U.S. agricultural products.

Mid-December also saw Congress being pressured to multitask, to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) while it simultaneously prepared to impeach the creator of that trade pact. USMCA, too, now appears ready for approval by President Donald Trump. Trump told an audience at the annual American Farm Bureau Federation convention Jan. 19 that his team was preparing the trade documents. "I will sign it very soon," Trump said.

Survey Methodology

The DTN/The Progressive Farmer Agriculture Confidence Index is conducted three times a year: early spring before planting, late summer just prior to harvest, and just before the end of the year, during tax preparation time. The telephone survey is conducted with at least 500 farmers who identify as being actively engaged in their farm operations.


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