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Should this farmer buy more land?

Jeff Caldwell 11/29/2010 @ 11:14am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

"I am real comfortable with my finances now and would hate to screw that up if this went wrong."

With that, Agriculture.com Farm Business Talk member kyu2852570 says he was offered to expand his acreage. Though there is obvious upside to buying more land, he's also reluctant for a few reasons.

"I farm with 3 partners now and would have to talk them into it," he adds. "This land isn't quite as good as everything I have now...is it worth sticking one's neck out if you don't need to?"

So, is it worth it? Some say the current landowner may have good reasons for getting rid of the land, and kyu2852570 ought to consider that side of the argument carefully before pulling the trigger, if that's what he wants.




"Why is it up for rent? Doesn't the present farmer think it's worth it? If it's a good deal, I would wonder why the present farmer is giving it up. Is the landowner hard to deal with? Some can be a real handful," says Farm Business Talk member nwobcw.

Still, others say if future plans involve growth or farm succession to the younger generation, the near-term risk may be worth the longer-term rewards.

"I would look at my age: when I want to retire, and whether I want to take on new (or just more) employees. At my age, I think if I was offered this opportunity, with the potential for passing my farming operation on to an heir, I would take it and run with it," adds Farm Business Talk member Pupdaddy. "You can upsize your equipment pretty easily to cover this amount of ground, and a couple more employees might even make it easier to farm what you have now. Your partners might be the problem, and I wouldn't second guess them if they decide it's too much."

Regardless of what he decides, Pupdaddy and others advise weighing all the factors on both sides of the situation before making a decision. "Give it some thought. Make that list with positives on one side of the page and negatives on the other, and see how the balance sheet works out," Pupdaddy says.

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