No big changes in Montana Ag Producer’s Financial Sentiments from 2020

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And expectations are that the farm and ranch financial situation will remain roughly the same into 2022.

Graph showing expected profitability of operations; 54% report expecting to stay the same

The Montana NASS Office and the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee (MWBC) recently released the Montana Wheat and Barley Variety Survey. In previous years, MSU has helped MWBC run the survey. This year NASS administered the survey. Having NASS run the survey allows a larger sample size and better representation in the results. This year, the survey received 2,241 responses (1,885 usable). In comparison, we received 439 in 2020, the last year MSU administered the survey. We are still partnering with MWBC to incorporate a couple financial questions (above).

It’s a little harder to compare to previous years since the sample and administrator are now different. But you can reference a summary of previous years’ responses to these questions here. Last year and in 2019 respondents were more likely to expect they’d be worse off a year in the future. You can compare to a national version of these questions (and many others) by going the Ag Economy Barometer website

One important caveat to all of this is that the survey was administered in the early summer. Since then, the drought situation has become significantly worse, although higher prices have made up for most of the difference. (Nick Hagerty’s recent post summarizes the current situation well.)

The rest of the report has lots of useful information on wheat and variety plantings by region, traits that producers find most important, and descriptions of it all here, now.

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About Author

Kate Binzen Fuller is an assistant professor and extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University. She holds an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. Her extension and research program focuses on the economics of farm management decisions, including USDA programs and policies, pest and disease responses, and issues surrounding leasing and land values. Kate’s extension program takes her on the road often, resulting in a rapidly expanding knowledge and appreciation for Montana’s interstates, highways, and (especially) gravel roads.

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