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Shrinking Farm Incomes Prompt Consolidation

Associated Press - April 4, 2016 8:50 am

Harvest is underway in part of the state, and the Kansas Highway Patrol would like to remind motorists to use more caution and patience when traveling around farm trucks, tractors, combines, and other farm implements

Shrinking farm incomes are putting pressure on Kansas farm co-ops to merge as a way to help producers cut their costs.

The Farmers Cooperative Elevator in Garden Plain will vote in about six weeks on whether to merge with co-ops in Anthony and Kiowa. Andale Farmers Co-Op voted in December to merge with Kanza Co-op in the Pratt County town of Iuka.

Kansas State University professor Brian Briggeman says the number of co-ops in Kansas has fallen from about 350 in 1950, to about 80 today.

Kanza Co-op CEO Bruce Krehbiel says the latest round of mergers won’t be the last because bigger co-ops can increase efficiencies and lower costs.

Krehbiel says there are limits to the economies of scale, but those haven’t been reached.

Associated Press information from: The Wichita  Eagle

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