(NewsNation) — Americans across the country are feeling the effects of the nationwide gas hike, but farmers are being hit especially hard.
“Last year I spent $13,000, maybe a little bit more on that tanker load of fuel, and this year I just wrote a check for $27,000,” said Craig Robertson.
The Illinois farmer fears the skyrocketing gas prices are going to dry up his farming business. North Carolina farmer Mike Faucette in the same boat, worried about making ends meet. He says some of his tractors require 100 gallons of diesel fuel per day.
Fuel is also needed to fill trucks to deliver produce; the average cost is $125. Faucette says he’s forced to increase prices of his produce, now burdening the customer, when inflation already sits at 8 percent.
However, fuel isn’t the only problem. The price for nitrogen fertilizers is higher than it’s ever been.
“Everything else has either doubled or tripled. Last year I paid $65 an acre for nitrogen, this year it is going to be $120 to $150 an acre,” Robertson said.
Russia and Ukraine are the main suppliers of important crop nutrients like nitrogen fertilizers, but the ongoing war is expected to keep prices soaring.
Steve Troxler with the North Carolina State Commissioner of Agriculture said pricing is the worst it’s ever been.
“The most difficult year beginning that I’ve ever seen in the 50 years. If you look at the rising fuel prices, the input cost has skyrocketed,” he said.
Robertson says he’s forced to have multiple jobs to stay afloat. And Faucette is worried he may be forced to retire.
“This is supposed to be the land of milk and honey, the land of plenty for everybody and boy it doesn’t seem like that is happening anymore,” Robertson said.
Both farmers say they expect to make little if no profits this year, with fuel costs the most to blame.