Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics, August 16, 2000,


Copyright 2000 University of Nebraska.


Most persons would not be surprised that the average age of Nebraska farmers is increasing. In 1982 there were approximately 1.5 farmers under age 35 for every farmer over age 65. In 1997 the relationship of younger farmers to older farmers had reversed. The latest Nebraska census of agriculture indicates there are about 2.5 farmers over age 65 for every farmer under 35. Approximately 41% of the land and farm machinery in Nebraska ($14 billion) is owned by those 55 years of age or older. That age group owns approximately 46% of Nebraska’s cow herds as well as about 27% of the breeding hogs. The vacuum created by the retirement of these Nebraska producers is going to be filled by someone. Will it be by existing producers who will continue to get bigger? Or, is there potential to bring new farmers/ranchers into agriculture?