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Ky. farmers feeling the pinch of inflation, supply shortages ahead of planting season

While we have all felt the impacts of rising gas prices and much more, farmers have also been dealing with impacts on their industry too.
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 4:33 PM EDT
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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - While we have all felt the impacts of rising gas prices and much more, farmers have also been dealing with impacts on their industry too, just ahead of the spring planting season.

Kevin Fields and his family have been farming for generations in Madison County and have also owned a farm supply business for nearly 30 years. So, as prices continue to rise across their industry, he has directly seen the impact.

“Most of your grass seed, your forage type of grasses have almost doubled from what they were last spring. Fertilizer is up, three to four hundred dollars a ton, in some cases five to six hundred a ton,” said Kevin Fields, farmer & owner of Tri-County Fertilizer.

While the pandemic was the first cause for cost increases, now a war, shipping delays, and world economic changes have only made it worse for those farming and in business.

“Anything that’s in this store or any other store you go to, comes from a truck and there is a national shortage of truck drivers. Diesel fuel is high. So, that is just driven everything up,” Fields said.

While prices have been on the rise across the board for the agriculture industry, Fields says he has seen some good trends recently, with people supporting more local businesses, like his own, and even local farmers in the area.

“People have become more into local food sources, wanting to source their food locally and know how their food is grown and the farmer that’s growing it,” Fields said.

However, even with all of the changes happening in agriculture, Fields says farmers still have to continue on with their operations and make smaller changers where they can to help save money.

“Most farmers are going to stay the course. They’re in a rotation. So, they sort of have to stay with what they had planned from last year in order to keep their soil healthy,” Fields said.

Fields says the price of grains has been on the rise for many crop farmers and the upfront costs are expected to increase at the start of the harvesting season.

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