Inflation Drives Next-Generation Farmers Away: Rising Costs Challenge Sustainability in Agriculture

Some small farms are facing difficulties, with inflation cutting into their profits. Some owners fear their farms may not survive to be passed down to the next generation.

“I might be the generation that loses [the farm]. It’s not just my fault, but the world around me might change so much that I can’t hold onto it anymore,” said Andrew Boerding, a 6th generation farmer at Boerding Farm. He and his father Jim noted that rising costs are making farming much more expensive than it used to be.

Garrett Hawkins: Missouri Farm Bureau president, highlights tough competition for land, impacting small farms. (Credits: Kyle Hill, Alpha Ag Network)

“My dad retired about 20 years ago, and he just can’t believe how much things cost now compared to when he was farming,” said Jim Boerding to Fox Business, who currently manages the family farm. He explained that higher input costs mean much lower profits.

“The input costs are outrageous‚Ķ fuel costs, machinery costs, and when the price of grain goes up, everything else does too,” Jim said.

In 2023, the average value of U.S. farm real estate reached $4,080 per acre, which is $280 more per acre compared to before.

Nationwide, 7% decrease in family farms, making it hard for new farmers.

Garrett Hawkins, the president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, said it’s hard for farms to grow because there’s a lot of competition for land. He mentioned that this competition is causing small family farms to disappear, with Missouri losing 300 of them just last year.

“We’ve noticed a 7% drop in family farms nationwide,” Hawkins added. Because of this, it’s getting harder for families to keep their farms or for new farmers to start.

“In Missouri, we made a new state law to encourage new farmers to find land, hopefully connecting them with those who are retiring or leaving farming,” Hawkins explained.

Both Hawkins and the Boerding family are committed to keeping their community strong, even if it takes extra work. “Farming has been a part of my life, my dad’s life and I hope it’ll be part of my children’s lives too,” said Andrew Boerding.

Jackson Kelley
Jackson Kelley
Jackson is a political activist and market expert. He covers the impact of politics on the market and global economy.
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