The number of farms and ranches in Nebraska declined during 2013. According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the number of farms and ranches in the state came in at 49,600. That’s down 400 farms from 2012. Jordan Dux is the Director of National Affairs for the Nebraska Farm Bureau. He says the statistics point to an aging population involved in production agriculture.
“The average age of a farmer continues to increase and you probably have some of those folks that dropped out of farming and ranching altogether,” according to Dux. “The average age of a farmer in Nebraska is now 60.”
“While agriculture has experienced good economic times over the past five years or so, it’s still difficult for young people to get involved in production agriculture,” Dux says.
The Numbers of farms and ranches in Nebraska with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales also declined, but the average size of an operation, at 913 acres, was up 7 acres from the year earlier.
By Jeniffer Berry, KHAS, Hastings