Up North some Family Farms are Struggling

In the northern states, the feds say farm bankruptcies are on the rise. But, despite almost constant drought worries, that's not the case here in Texas.

Texas A&M Professor Ron Gill says farming is never easy, anywhere.

"Whatever our income is, in our economy, it always drives that food price and the commodity price to about a break-even level."

But Dr. Gill says Texas farmers are more diversified than others and they're quick on their feet.

"We have corn, we have grain sorghum, we have hay, we have wheat -- so we can go a lot of different directions with our farmland.

Dr. Gill says if a crop is failing in Texas, farmers have the ability to switch to something else. He says many farmers in the Midwest do not have that option.

"Sometimes if one crop doesn't look very good we have the equipment and everything else to go a different route; some of the Midwest guys are all in on corn or soybeans or they have that rotation, so they don't even have the equipment to put other crops in the ground."

Dr. Gill says Midwest weather can also be a limiting factor in what can be grown.

Dr. Gill says family farming is always risky because Americans expect cheap food prices, so profit margins are low.

 
 

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