Many farmers are selling unused or out-of-date equipment to make money in a year when grain prices are low.
Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media
At the Lee Valley consignment sale near Tekamah, Neb., dozens of used tractors, planters and other equipment were on the auction block for farmers trying to save a few extra dollars. It was a muddy day, with trucks and four-wheelers leaving deep black ruts – fitting conditions for an industry wallowing in bad news.
Amanda Johnson is hoping to buy some used fence posts. She and her husband, Matt, raise cattle and crops near Scribner, Neb. Making money looks tough for them this year. “It really depends on markets,” Johnson says. “I’d say even if you can break even, that’s doing pretty good.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects farm income to fall for the third year in a row. At the same time, farmers are borrowing billions from banks to get by. To make ends meet, some farmers are giving up leases on farmland they can’t afford …