Farmers feel less optimistic about operations, costs more than double

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The outlook from farmers about the agriculture industry is not looking good. The Ag Economy Barometer is the lowest since July 2020, as farmers feel less optimistic about their operations. 

There are several challenges for farmers. For farmers Ron Supes, the input costs have more than doubled in the last year for things such as diesel, seed, fertilizer, and machinery. 

“The other day, I had a landlord contact me and say, ‘are you buying twice as much fertilizer as normal this year?’ and I said ‘no, the prices increased,’ it’s the same amount of fertilizer,” said Supes. “Used machinery has become premium new machinery is out of touch for most of us.”

For dairy farmer Lynda Foster, Foster Dairy milks nearly 200 cows a day, and she said the cost of feed has skyrocketed.

“In December of 2020, we paid $3.82 for some corn because we needed more corn. Today, I am having to pay $7.31 waiting on some corn to harvest,” said Foster. 

KSN’s Agriculture Analyst John Jenkinson said it’s discouraging a lot of farmers. 

“The Biden administration wants to possibly increase inheritance tax or maybe eliminate stepped-up basis, which would make it more difficult for farmers to hand their operations down to their children farmers and ranchers,” said Jenkinson. “Fertilizer prices have more than doubled over the past six months, diesel fuel prices, which is a big cost for operating a farm, have doubled over the past six to eight months, so we’re seeing a huge increase.”

Jenkinson said many farmers are holding off on buying new equipment or adding new buildings or storage because of a shaky economic outlook.

Many farmers are hoping something changes.

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