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life in rural nebraska

Changes in farm operations

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The Lincoln Journal Star has a great take on farming trends in Nebraska from 2002-2007.

Nebraska Ag Census (courtesy of Lincoln Journal Star)

Nebraska Ag Census (courtesy of Lincoln Journal Star)

Nothing surprising in the data but definitely trends to ponder for rural Nebraska – family farms continue to decrease but partnerships and corporations are on the rise.  Not to editorialize, but the implication for rural communities are striking – less family farms (more labor intensive) and bigger operations mean less human capital (in total population numbers).  Rural communities should take heed for three reasons –

1.)  Services for larger farms require fewer service workers for ancillary farm needs.

2.)  The challenge is much greater for young farmers to get into the business these days due to higher input costs and greater land requirements to turn a profit.

3.)  The average Nebraska farmer continues to age, and quickly – in 2002 he/she was 53.9.


Written by Caleb

February 5, 2009 at 3:49 am

One Response

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  1. […] a few theories, but one I think requires mention:  our rural population numbers will continue to decline insofar as our family farms do.  Less farms (a trend that has reversed nationally) mean less of a need for people and services.  […]

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