Farmers penalized by rising input costs
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) – If one thing’s for sure, it’s 2021 has resulted in higher prices for just about everything. And now, more than ever, the effects of inflation are being felt on Texoma’s farms.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do, I’m still trying to figure out that part,” farmer Kenneth McAlister said.
McAlister has been in the farming business since the 1980s and said his farm’s greatest growth right now is not from its crops, but from its input costs.
“A year ago we were donating $ 15 and today we are getting $ 54 for a gallon of Roundup,” McAlister said. “A year ago, diesel cost $ 1.24. Today, a tractor fuel load is going to be around $ 2.75 to $ 2.76.
And, even with the high price of crops and livestock in the market, it is rare to make big profits.
“A lot of times we think farmers get richer because you look at how much meat costs, but it’s a very small percentage,” said David Graf, Texas County AgriLife extension officer.
It is not only the costs of inputs that are increasing, it is also the price of the equipment. McAlister said a machine on his farm that he uses to collect cotton costs around $ 250,000. That price has now jumped to $ 750,000.
“The next thing you know, you’ve got a million dollars tied up in equipment and you still don’t have a crop planted,” McAlister said. “It’s more and more difficult day by day and a young person who wants to get started, I wonder why? Why do you wanna go do this? Do you want to lose money because I can’t see how he can know where he put it in pencil to make money? “
For McAlister, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight and as the costs rise, so does his faith in the hopes for change.
“I just don’t know what we’re going to do in this farm deal,” McAlister said. “You have to believe a little that he takes care of us. And you have to think, it’s not just here, it’s nationwide. “
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