Arriving dairy farmers face land scarcity, other hurdles
A lack of choice land, high costs and drought conditions all await these dairy operations.
Dairy farmers "think they got it tough now," said Bruce Johnson, owner of Greeley-based A. Bruce Johnson Associates, which specializes in irrigated farmland and water rights sales. "It's going to get even worse."
For starters, dairy farmers need special properties for their operations.
They prefer large, irrigated farms so that they can raise crops that they use for cow-feed. Farms should also face south or east for more sunlight and less wind.
Other considerations include soil type, setbacks from neighbors and distance from groundwater so that dairy cows don't pollute it with their manure.
"We have a lot of land in Weld County that would fit their needs," Johnson said. "The problem is that it's not for sale."
Greg Feit, a farm and ranch real estate broker for Fort Collins-based Agri-Enterprises Inc., which sells agricultural land, agrees. The firm was successful last year selling land to farmers, but has not had as much
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