LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: Jeff Barbeler has discouraged his son from going into farming.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: Jeff Barbeler has discouraged his son from going into farming. Rhiannon Tuffield

In a changing climate, farming can be a tough game

AS A fourth generation farmer Jeff Barbeler has come to know the industry like the back of his hand.

But the uncertainty of a season and the cost of running a farm has caused him to discourage his own son from entering the family business.

Mr Barbeler said the average farm was worth $1 million, without the cost of machinery, seed and chemicals, and it was likely a young person who started from scratch would never succeed in the industry.

"The outright costs to get set up now is just too high," Mr Barbeler said.

"But then your problem is you don't know if you're going to have a crop every year and it's something you can't afford to miss."

In order to stay afloat, many farming families have had to source a second income in order to survive.

Mr Barbeler himself has maintained stability through work in contract fencing for the past 25 years.

While those working on the land were doing the best they could, Mr Barbeler said the future of the food industry looked dire if younger farmers couldn't afford to step up.

"Our biggest fear as farmers is that you don't really know what's around the corner," Mr Barbeler said.

"There's not a lot of young farmers left and I think it's up to the government to give them a hand to keep going."

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