27-year-old farmer says cost of farming making it difficult to be profitable

News

27-year-old farmer says cost of farming making it difficult to be profitable

A sixth-generation Midwest grower says ‘skyrocketing’ startup costs are making it difficult for young farmers to be profitable.

South-Central Nebraska farmer Mitch Oswald says the biggest obstacle is acquiring ground, which can sell in his area anywhere from $9-14,000 an acre. “To be able to be productive and successful in this area, you’re going to have to find any opportunity you can to rent or if you have a chance to buy you’re probably going to take it because you don’t know how much you’re going to be able to buy throughout my lifetime with the way the market is for ground around here.”

The 27-year-old raises corn, seed corn and soybeans and tells Brownfield input and equipment costs are adding up and that makes long term decisions nearly impossible. “The price of a new tractor is upwards of a half-million dollars,” Oswald says. “Me and my wife have talked a lot about it and we’re going to have to kind of go year-by-year and see where we want to invest in the operation whether it be in the ground, in equipment, in a shop, in bins or whatever.”

Oswald farms with his parents and younger brother near Aurora in Hamilton County.