In its monthly report of farmer sentiment, the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer found a decline driven by increasing perceptions that regulations, taxes and trade pressures will all increase after the November elections. The overall barometer fell 16 points from the November rating, but it wasn’t all bearish; one component of the overall rating — the Index of Current Conditions — rose in the last month to a new record, reflecting continued optimism about the current ag commodity marketplace. But survey respondents said their angst about the future has them planning to pull back on some capital purchases; 40% said they’d reduce those purchases in the next few months compared to 33% in last month’s survey. Optimism about restoring “normal” ag trade with China and long-term bullishness on the farmland market both declined in the last month as well. How tax and environmental policy, as well as government supports for farmers and the ethanol sector, unfold in the coming month will have a lot to do with farmer sentiment moving forward, the December report concludes. See the full report.