Question by : What is the future of agriculture in the state of Nebraska?
Will there be more farms in Nebraska then they are now?
Is there going to be more organic farms in Nebraska?
Are the farmers in Nebraska going to have more acres available to them? To extend their farms maybe?
What is going to be a future energy source for Nebraska farmers? Wind farms, maybe?
Thank you so very much.
Answer by ERIC
While I’m not from Nebraska and don’t know all of the specifics of the state, many of these questions do apply yo most places so I’ll help where i can here.
Generally the number of farms has been in decline, mostly due to fewer people who have the opportunity want to farm. Generally the land gets rented out or sold to a neighbor when a farm ceases to operate. The one exception to this general rule is in many area the number of hobby farms and specialty small scale operations is growing. These require either another job or some very specialized crops or livestock to make a go of it, but they are farms none the less.
The number of organic farms will likely increase, as long as demand stays ahead of supply enough where the price justifies the extra labor and expenses incurred. This is also a common venue for some small scale specialized operations because of the typically higher prices.
It’s doubtful that the acreage will increase, as not only are they not making new land, my understanding is Nebraska is the most farmed state (as % of total land that is farmed). The one exception here is if for some reason a lot of land gets pulled out of programs such as CRP, likely either due to funding shortages, or commodity vales rising enough where it makes more financial sense to farm it again.
The future energy source is the one I can answer the least as I’m not from there and not totally familiar with the specifics of what all is in the state. Your guess of wind would be a likely one in some areas. These have been popping up in my area of MI and so far they’ve been great, they take up very little ground space, can be placed in out of the way places such as fencelines, and on wasteground, and contrary to what some opponents say make very little noise, and pay a few bucks an acre a month. The main drawback is as things stand now often these are not cost effective enough to compete without subsidies, however either increases in the technology of rising prices elsewhere can change this easily. Ethanol as we know it is at a standstill, especially at $ 7 corn, although biomass ethanol does hold some potential if they can improve the technology enough to make it cost effective, which I doubt will be very soon. With prices the way they are now drilling for oil can be an option in areas where it exists in quantities large enough or easy enough to get at to make it worthwhile. A NE resident could help more with this question.
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