Topeka (KSNT) –
“You could feel pretty good one day and be bankrupt the next,” says farmer, Stephen Anderson.
And that’s exactly what has been happening for farms all around the U.S. and Kansas. 2013 had record high farm income, but that trend hasn’t continued.
“It’s not going to be a good year. But you have to prepare for those bad years. But again, it’s the nature of farmers,” says farmer and member of the Shawnee County Farm Bureau Board, Randol Walker.
Last year there was a 16 percent decline in income nationally. This year? A projected 32 percent decrease in farm income, according to a report by the Department of Agriculture.
But some farmers say the struggle of the upcoming year is nothing new.
“I’m old enough and I’ve been frugal enough that this what were facing today is nothing compared to the 1980’s,” says Anderson.
This year, the decline in sales is due to low prices crop prices and drought.
A farmer’s trick to making it through the tough financial years? Saving.
“You can’t take all your income that you have this year and spend it all. You better put some back for a rainy day, or in this case a dry day. You have to be careful with you money,” says Walker.
As crop prices go down, almost every other farming cost has gone up. The costs are making it impossible for new farmers to survive.
“Land prices, machinery prices, livestock prices. You just, virtual impossibility for anybody to start out from scratch like you could in my day” says Anderson.
But as they look forward to the upcoming year, the report of declining income won’t change much about their outlook on farming.
“I’m always kind of optimistic,” says Anderson.
“Farmers have to be optimistic or they couldn’t farm,” says Walker.