You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Escalating farmland prices present barrier for new farmers, ranchers
The cost of land continues to rise. With record-setting land sales of $20,000 per acre in some parts of the country, land ownership is out of reach for most beginning farmers and ranchers.
High commodity prices, increased farm income, farm and crop insurance subsidies, and low interest rates all play major roles in driving up land costs. Moreover, a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago survey indicates banks require greater collateral for beginners to borrow money.
High land values benefit landowners who are selling, but diminish opportunities for beginning farmers. Access to affordable land and capital has been a barrier to beginners for years. Dramatic increases in land costs and tighter lending requirements make the climb even steeper.
At the Center for Rural Affairs’ Land Link program, we hear from discouraged beginning farmers and ranchers every day. We created that program to help connect beginners with landowners and retiring farmers and ranchers and find solutions to the challenges they face in getting started. Some beginners, in order to overcome high land costs, raise vegetables, fruits, or livestock that require less land, more labor, and result in higher profits per acre than commodity crops.
Moreover, communities can forge conversations and link the generations, helping landowners leave a legacy rather than just selling to the highest bidder.
Creating opportunity for the next generation requires policy reforms and engaged rural communities because the success of our small towns depends on the success of the next generation of farmers and ranchers around it.
Wolking is a staff member of the Center for Rural Affairs who works on health care, rural development, and farm policy issues. To contact her, email email@example.com.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
County committee nomination period begins (June 22, 2016)
Hartmann takes the steer by the horns to win state championship (June 22, 2016)
La Vernia FFA wraps up school year with honors, scholarships (June 22, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 22, 2016)
Root rot knocks out roses (June 22, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 22, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 22, 2016)
A student’s ag-related journey (June 15, 2016)
Family Land Heritage news (June 15, 2016)
Five dirty truths on agriculture (June 15, 2016)
Horseherb galloping through yards (June 15, 2016)
Kristin Storey: South Texas queen to compete for national title (June 15, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 15, 2016)
Miller announces assistance for farmers devastated by floods (June 15, 2016)
No “rain, rain, go away” as precipitation persists (June 15, 2016)
Schwartz takes lead as Texas state veterinarian (June 15, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 15, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 15, 2016)
Texas Rural Leadership Program (June 15, 2016)
It’s almost rodeo time in Stockdale (June 8, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 8, 2016)
Save seed pods for next fall (June 8, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 8, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 8, 2016)
Big Time Texas Hunts entries now on sale (June 1, 2016)
Burbridge leads the way in Buck Taylor roping event (June 1, 2016)
Farm Bureau solicits AgLead, FarmLead participants (June 1, 2016)
June 2016 Gardening Calendar (June 1, 2016)
Livestock Market Reports (June 1, 2016)
Save squash from vine borers (June 1, 2016)
State Farm Bureau testifies on agricultural use valuation (June 1, 2016)
TDA Market Recap (June 1, 2016)
Texas Hay Report (June 1, 2016)