Land challenges for young and beginning farmers

The price and availability of farmland is one of the biggest barriers facing small and beginning producers.

Kody Johnson, an ag banker with CBI Bank and Trust in Muscatine, Iowa, says the situation hasn’t improved.

“I think that unfortunately the smalltime farmer is going to be less and less coming around,” Johnson said. “You can’t really make 80 acres work anymore. You have to have quite a bit of land.”

Adam Gauger with the Muscatine, Iowa County Farm Bureau says county offices can provide some assistance.

“Maybe you still have to have your sideline, off-farm job to help get things off the ground,” Gauger said. “There’s programs where they can help you get in contact with the places you need to be.”

Gauger says higher input costs coupled with rising land values has made it harder to purchase ground.

Johnson and Gauger spoke to Brownfield at a Spring Ag Roundtable hosted by KWPC, Muscatine.

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