Business

Inflation pushing next generation farmers out of the business: ‘Can’t believe what things cost’

Some small farms are in trouble, and inflation is eating into their profits. Some owners said their farms may not survive to pass on down the family line.

“I might be the generation that loses [the farm]. Not just my fault, but just the world around me might change that much that I can’t hold on to anymore,” said Andrew Boerding, a 6th generation farmer with Boerding Farm. He and his father Jim said rising costs make farming a lot pricier than it used to be.

“My dad retired about 20 years ago, and he just can’t believe what things cost any more compared to when he was farming,” said Jim Boerding, who currently runs the family farm. Jim said the higher input costs mean a lot less profit.

“The input costs are ridiculous… the fuel costs, higher machinery costs, and when the price of grain goes up, so does everything else,” Jim said.

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Boerding Farms in St. Charles, MO

A family farm in St. Charles, MO (Fox News/Olivianna Calmes / Fox News)

The U.S. Farm real estate value averaged $4,080 per acre in 2023 – that is up $280 dollars per acre.

The president of the Missouri Farm Bureau said this makes it difficult for farms to expand. 

Farmland costs up across the US in 2023

Farming prices up in the last year. (Fox News/Olivianna Calmes / Fox News)

“There is a tremendous competition for access to those acres,” said Garrett Hawkins.

He said it squeezes out small family farms. Missouri lost 300 last year.

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“We’ve seen a 7% drop in or decline in the number of family farms in the United States,” Hawkins said. 

Because of that, he said it is not surprising it is harder to keep farms in the family, and even harder to start fresh as a new farmer.

Farmer's field in St. Charles, MO

A field at Boerding Farm in St. Charles, Missouri. (Fox News/Olivianna Calmes / Fox News)

“Here in Missouri, we’ve passed a new state law to try to provide incentives for beginning farmers wanting to find acres to be able to hopefully match up with those who want to retire or exit the business,” Hawkins explained. 

Both Hawkins and the Boerdings hope to preserve the community they love, even if it takes some extra work. 

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“It’s something that I grew up with and my dad’s grown up with, and hopefully my children will grow up with,” said Andrew Boerding.

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