The December Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer suggests farmers are optimistic about the future, despite a weakened perception of current conditions. 

The survey dropped three points in December to a reading of 150, down from 153 in November. 

The Index of Current Conditions dropped 12 points to 141, down from 153 in November. 

Meanwhile, the Index of Future Expectations remained strong, up two points to a reading of 155. 

In the December survey, producers were asked whether their farm’s 2019 financial performance was better, as expected, or worse than their initial budget projections. 

Just over-half, 52 percent, stated that their initial projections matched their farm’s financial performance. 

Meanwhile, 30 percent stated it was worse, and 19 percent stated it was better than expected. 

The barometer is based on a mid-month survey of 400 U.S. crop and livestock producers. 

A reading over 100 suggests optimism, while a reading under 100 indicates pessimism amongst farmers regarding the ag economy.