(NewsUSA) - For America's agricultural producers, springtime means planting season - and soybeans are on the agenda.
According to the USDA, the U.S. is currently the world's leading soybean producer. As farmers work to get those soybeans in the ground this year, there are global issues weighing on their minds.
The latest results of the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer suggest that America's food producers are concerned that a prolonged trade war with China could impact U.S. soybean exports. The monthly survey, from Purdue University and CME Group, the world's leading and most diverse derivatives exchange, measures farmer and rancher sentiment toward the U.S. farm economy.
The number of producers expecting soybean prices to decline this year rose to 27 percent in April, compared to just 15 percent at the beginning of the year. Soybean prices are particularly vulnerable to disruptions in trade with China, as China's share of U.S. soybean exports is approximately 30 percent.
Overall, the Ag Economy Barometer experienced two consecutive months of decline, falling 10 points in April, following a March dip of 5 points.
"Producers' weakening perceptions of the current agricultural climate, along with a decline in their expectations for future economic conditions, were the main drivers of the barometer's overall decline," says James Mintert, the barometer's principal investigator and director of Purdue University's Center for Commercial Agriculture.
Since May 2016, Purdue University and CME Group have published the Ag Economy Barometer on a monthly basis to measure food producers' shifting perceptions about the U.S. agricultural economy over time. The barometer surveys 400 agricultural producers each month to discern their opinions on key economic drivers, and analyze what factors are influencing their outlook for the farm economy.
To read the full report, visit www.purdue.edu/agbarometer.