I ran across another thought provoking article in Cornhusker Economics. In the article, they performed an analysis of farmers in Nebraska based upon their ages.
In 1982, 13,436 farmers in Nebraska were under age 35. In the most recent census in 2007, this number had dropped to 3,353 or a 75 percent decrease.
The number of operators aged 65 or over increased from 8,777 to 13,062 in 2007 or about a 49 percent increase.
Based on these numbers, over the next several years, there will be about 13,000 Nebraska farmers pondering these three options regarding their operations:
- Will they sell the land, machinery and livestock to the highest bidder, or
- Will they rent the land, machinery and livestock to the highest bidder, or
- Will they transfer it to a successor to farm
For many operators, option 1 or 2 will most likely be the best option. For others, option #3 will allow them to see their life's work continue on. The rest of the article discussed the University setting up the "Nebraska Network for Beginning Farmers".
I would be curious to find out which of the three options our readers are pondering. If I get enough response, I will post the results in a later post. If interested, send me a quick e-mail with the following information regarding you and your operation:
- Your age
- Your home state
- The size of your operation in acres or head
- The type of operation
- Major crops grown
- Which option you are leaning toward
- Whether you have identified who either the higher bidder will be or your successor
- Are they related to you
- Other information you think is pertinent
Again, if I get enough responses, I will post the data.