Farmers and ranchers across the country are struggling with spiking production costs. From diesel fuel to fertilizer, everything they need to produce crops is much more expensive, and farmers are warning that food shortages and even higher prices are on the horizon.
“Right now we are in a crisis in America as it relates to farmers,” John Boyd, Jr., of the National Black Farmers Association, told Sean Hannity on Fox News. “We are facing an all-time high in diesel fuel.”
Americans are feeling the pinch of gas prices and the rising costs of essential goods like food and other necessities.
Inflation is at a 40-year high, and farming is one industry that’s being hit especially hard. The higher costs of farming will further impact the food supply over the next few months, and even years, since crops take time to plant, grow and harvest.
Fuel and fertilizer are costing farmers more money. The national average for diesel fuel is $5.81 per gallon, but a year ago, that was only $3.23. This means a farmer is now up to about $870 to fill a tractor with a 150 gallon gas tank – much more than last year’s price of $484.
Adding to the high costs are supply chain problems. Russia is the largest exporter of fertilizer, and many of the natural resources needed to make the product come from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, so the conflict in that region has increased costs and made supplies more challenging to come by.
An April report from Barron’s noted that the costs of certain fertilizer ingredients have almost doubled since last year. Some farmers are concerned that the costs of inputs could rise as much as 40% this year and another 20% or higher into 2023.
Shelby Myers, an economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, said it’s important to remember that the costs to distribute and deliver the goods also affect the final price that gets passed on to consumers in the supermarket.
A recent survey in the U.K. showed that 80% of food suppliers asked retailers for at least one price increase in the past year, but oftentimes, they don’t get a response quickly, or they’re told no. This might sound good for consumers in the short term, but it could negatively impact farms across the country going forward, especially if it causes farms to produce less food or go out of business.
One local farmer recently told The Daily Wire that consumers could see smaller produce on their grocery store shelves because of a lack of fertilizer. He said farmers could face a situation where, without enough fertilizer, their fruit doesn’t grow to market size.
Many are saying these high prices aren’t going away anytime soon, and looking at the status of farms in the U.S., it’s poised to get worse.