Number of young farmers decreasing - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Number of young farmers decreasing

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By: Hannah Paczkowski

For Dustin Fairley, farming is in his blood. The 26-year-old grew up on this farm, and has taken it over for the past six years.

"I kind of think that we're part crazy sometimes to be investing this type of money at this age," he said.

It's not pocket change that's keeping Fairley's farm afloat. Last year he spent nearly $50 thousand to maintain his equipment. New machines can cost half of a million dollars.

"We're running well over a couple thousand dollars a day just in equipment costs, fuel, labor, stuff like that," Fairley said.

Farmland prices aren't cheap either. One acre of irrigated ground can cost more than $7 thousand. The average farm size in Nebraska is about one thousand acres which equals to about $7 million.

"It'll keep you up at night, it really will. I mean you basically risk everything you have, everything your parents have, all the crop, sometimes you got to wonder why we do it," Fairley said.

That's a question Fairley said is easy to answer.

"I don't want to sit in an office all day so we risk it all every year with a little bit of praying so it all works out," he said.


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