J352 Wrote:
Sep 11, 2012 11:31 AM
I live in Iowa and teach at Iowa State U. While many farmers handle a tremendous amount of money and the asset value of their farmland and equipment is significant, this doesn't translate easily to farmers enjoying high annual incomes. Profit margins per acre are minimal even when commodity prices are high (direct payments have also been minimal - e.g., about $25/ac for corn). Also, about 60% of Iowa farmland is rented; margins are even thinner and quite often negative on rented land (e.g., 2009 when nitrogen costs were high very few Iowa farmers made money on rented land). Landowners are wealthy and will likely have significant payouts if/when they sell; farmers are generally a mixed bag of mostly middle class people.