For aspiring farmers, breaking into the business often requires buying parents out of their plot of land or finding affordable land on their own. Procuring land, coupled with equipment costs, can require substantial upfront investment.
Over the last couple of years, when grain prices reached record highs, young farmers were able to make those purchases with relative ease. But now, with a record harvest causing corn to sell for about half of what it did in 2012, grain farmers are feeling the pinch.
It’s hitting young farmers, who generally have more debt and fewer assets than more established farming operations, the hardest. And it’s threatening to stunt their farms’ growth at a time when reinvesting in growth is vital to the growth of the operations.