Gas Costs Affect More Than You Think

By: Whitney Holmes
By: Whitney Holmes

May 2, 2005

Bob Burkholder, a Greene County Farmer and president of the Greene County Farm Bureau, has been a farmer for almost 30 years, but he has never seen gas prices like this.

"It's the worst I seen. Yes, I hope it gets better," said Burkholder.

Farmers have been hit incredibly hard by skyrocketing gas prices. For farmers, gas is used in all facets of their job, including making hay, producing fertilizer and running equipment.

"Most of us have pickup trucks and when you hook livestock to a pickup truck, your mileage goes down to 10 miles to the gallon," said the cattle farmer.

There is not much farmers can do to conserve gas since it is a key ingredient to fertilizer and a necessity for running equipment, but they try to cut corners where they can.

"Some farmers are looking at places where they were making hay away from their farms and thinking, 'is it economically feasible to make hay away when diesel fuel cost is so high?'" he said.

High costs for farmers can mean high costs for you at the grocery store. If farmers have to pay more to produce products such as beef, then consumers will have to pay more to eat products such as beef.

"It definitely is going to go up. It has no choice right now," Burkholder said. "The cost has to go up accordingly."

Unlike other situations, foreign markets cannot relieve the growing costs because they are feeling the burden of high gas prices too.

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