US farmers struggle amid high fuel prices

Planting costs have doubled this year after diesel costs soar, RIA Novosti reports

Soaring fuel prices in the US have added thousands of dollars to farmers’ costs this year, according to Ty Higgins, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

He told Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency this week that record-high diesel prices have resulted in the cost of sowing crops to double.

“Diesel is not the only, but the most necessary fuel in agriculture,” Higgins said. “When you think about the sowing season, imagine how many tractors use diesel, working day and night. What used to require $300-400 a day last year now reaches a thousand dollars,” he added.

In the United States, diesel accounts for as much as 15% of a farm’s overall expenses, according to the California Farm Bureau.

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Data by the American Automobile Association showed that the cost of diesel set another historic record this week, reaching $5.64 per gallon. To compare, last June it cost about $3.19 and in 2020 it was just $3.03 per gallon.

Javier Zamora, an organic farmer from California, also told RIA that his expenses for this year’s sowing season have shot up too. “The rise in the price of diesel is a big problem because we supply our products directly to shops, hospitals and schools, so the amount of money that goes into this and tractors has almost doubled compared to last year,” he said.

Analysts say prices were already climbing before the crisis in Ukraine, and where pressed higher by supply chain difficulties and surging demand as travel and shipping recovered from pandemic lows. But the war and subsequent US energy sanctions on Russia have only worsened the situation.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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