Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Booming grain prices change farmers’ moods

Farmers are in a much better mood now than at mid-summer, according to a survey by Purdue University.

It’s Agriculture Economy Barometer hit a record high of 183 this month.

Rising prices are translating into predictions that net incomes for United States farmers will set a record this year.

It’s a strange outcome, given that the government announced in August that it would provide up to $14 billion to compensate for disruptions and costs incurred by COVID-19. That's on top of $16 billion to compensate for trade relations with China.

“This has been a phenomenal year with all sorts of market developments every month, we think we've got things figured out, and then the next month, something new happens,” says Pat Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri.

In Canada, farmers have been lobbying the federal government for increased support, mainly by boosting coverage provided via AgriStability.

But Prairie grain farmers are noticeably less enthusiastic about this than beef and hog farmers, especially in Ontario and Quebec.

The House of Commons Agriculture Committee issued a report this week supporting the call for increased support via AgriStability.