Beginning Farmer Numbers Grow in Nebraska

Beginning Farmer Numbers Grow in Nebraska

In this week's Cornhusker Economics article, Beginning Farmer Numbers Grow in Nebraska, Dave Goeller examines the numbers for younger and older farmers and ranchers in Nebraska and shares insights on why the beginning farmer trend is changing.

"According to the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture, a 30-year trend of declining numbers of farmers under 35 years of age appears to be, at least temporarily, reversing. Nebraska's principal farm/ranch operators in the age group under 35 grew by 1,394 — from a total of 3,353 in 2007 to 4,747 in 2012. The previous 20-year history indicated overall losses in the number of beginning farmers from 12,609 in 1987 to a low of 3,353 in 2007."

Goeller also notes that the number of operators over 65 years is up 150% from 1982. "The effect of this is a concentration of agricultural assets, such as land, machinery and livestock, in older hands."

Read more about these changing trends in Nebraska in Goeller's article.

Goeller is deputy director of the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center. Cornhusker Economics is published by the UNL Department of Agricultural Economics.