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How to Make Money Farming

12 Jan 2022
by Jackson Pollock

Technology has brought the agricultural revolution since the late 20th century. However, economies of scale mean most of these advantages go to corporate farmers. Small farms in the US over the years have diminished in numbers or suffered huge losses. If yours is one of them, you are aware of the reasons; climate change, declining commodity prices due to globalization, corporate farming and its usage of advanced technologies, and a trade war as well. Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies increased 12% between July 2018 and June 2019, resulting in the loss of thousands of farms.

Image Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2020/02/10/us-farm-bankruptcies-reach-eight-year-high-infographic

Property taxes in the US might also have put a dent in your pockets. In 2017, around 1.9 million farms in the country paid $9.4 billion in property taxes. Although increased federal aid might have eased your farm debt (if any), you need to plan for a sustainable future in the current economic uncertainty. Here are some ways you can put your farmland to good use.

Offer a Hunting Rights Lease

If your property has an abundance of wildlife, you can lease it out to hunters for additional income. When it comes to farming, the arability of the land is all important however, when it comes to hunting, no such factors apply to the marketability of your hunting farm lease. It should be noted that a hunting rights lease tends not to interfere with normal farming activities. It represents a passive stream of agricultural income which is distinct and separate from the day-to-day operations of the farm. List your property on a hunting lease website so that it can be found by hunters who are searching for “hunting leases near me”.

By offering your hunting rights lease directly to the market you are in complete control over who accesses your land, and according to what terms said access is granted.. You can stipulate that the prospective hunter holds liability insurance. In this manner, you can safely profit from protecting your crops from deer damage. A ready market exists for hunting land for lease by owner so why not take advantage.

Be Smart about the Choice of Crops

This pertains to you if you are looking for a new crop variety for your land. As a farmer or investor, you are well-aware of the crops that are native to your state and climate. But, if you want a list of herbs and crops that can be grown practically anywhere in the US.

  • Soybeans - Yield and gross revenue for soybean production in the US has been consistently higher between 2015 and 2019. They are used in food, feed, and various products. Moreover, the US is one of the biggest exporters of soybeans to the world.
  • Lavender - From food to essential body oils, soaps, and room fresheners, there are so many things in which this pleasant-smelling perennial herb is much in demand. Per acre, common lavender can yield 1000 to 1500 pounds of buds. So, when sold in the market, it can generate revenue between $6000 and $15,000.

Some other crops to consider could be garlic, ginseng, specialty mushroom, and bamboo, all of which are ideal for small farms. Remember that you need to create an account with the US Department of Agriculture before you grow anything.

Image Source: https://www.eauth.usda.gov/eauth/b/usda/login

Make it Into a Bed & Breakfast

Given the pandemic scare, many people could be interested in working remotely from the countryside. The trend of “workcation” is catching up among the millennial and Gen Z workers. If you have a barn or spare rooms that can be converted into simple sleeping rooms, then this could be a good income generator. Some websites make it easy for you to list your rooms for rent-outs.

Remember that farming operations or contracts are governed by Federal and State laws, so ensure to know things like “how do hunting leases work” or “how to open a farmer’s account” on the USDA website.


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