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High gas prices impact local farm production

Many farmers are feeling the pressure of rising gas prices, which is also affecting how much consumers are paying at the grocery store.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Rising gas prices are affecting farmers and even affecting how much you pay at checkout in the grocery store. Local farmers say gasoline prices are at the center of everything in agriculture.

“Fuel encompasses every single aspect of the farm, whether it’s going to town to get supplies or the fuel we use to feed the cows or transport the cattle to and from the vet and the market. It encompasses every aspect of what we do. Any inflation in that cost lessens the money they can live on. It dictates what we can do or even how much we’ll be able to do,” local farmer, Aaron Asencio said.

With this price increase, farmers must reconsider finances for this growing season and instead of driving, some farmers are scaling back the best they can.

“We try not to drive as much as possible to cut down on the usage, but to feed cattle you have to keep moving,” Cody Anglin from Anglin Beef said.

Farmers are paying almost double to fill up their ton tank equipment because it requires diesel fuel, which already has a higher price than unleaded.

“I drive a one-ton dodge, I fill up once a week and some weeks maybe twice a week. So I went from filling up for 75, 80 dollars and yesterday it was 120 dollars,” Cody said.

But filling tanks isn’t the only thing gas price impact on the farm. Many fertilizers are petroleum-based, which means those products are directly impacted by gas prices with fertilizers now costing more.

The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas system division of agriculture throughout the state and they say they’ve seen a significant jump in prices in the last 12 years.

“Example in 2008 urea prices were $200 a ton and this year it went for $1000 a ton and now it’s down to 7 or 800 dollars a ton. This is a huge increase,” Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources with the UA System, Dr. Vic Ford said.

Much of the cause stems from the Ukraine Russia Conflict with both countries are top producers for oil, wheat and other produce. Other produce will be seeing a price jump in the near future.

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