Inflation and shortages are continuing to affect one of America’s most important workers—farmers
- Many farmers are suffering from a diesel shortage that affects nearly all aspects of their business.
- High demand and low supply mixed with the war in Ukraine has resulted in a massive diesel shortage that is hurting farmers all over.
- The farmers need the diesel to run equipment, but the supply is low and it costs the farmers more to harvest crops than they will make by selling them.
Why it’s news
Farmers are considered by most to be the backbone of America. They are the ones who harvest crops to keep food on people’s tables and help create the clothes that they wear.
Many farmers are facing issues, especially Oklahoma farmers who have been faced with a giant diesel shortage.
Diesel is in high demand, but low supply causing many farmers to pay more for diesel to power the equipment then they will make by selling the crops.
The U.S. Energy Information Agency reports that diesel prices are nearly 50% higher than the same time last year and diesel reserves are at the lowest level since 1951.
“Demand is returning back to where it was in 2019, and supply is literally producing a million barrels a day less than it was in 2019,” said U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, former House Agriculture Committee chairman.
Lucas also states that the war in Ukraine has also affected the farming business. The issues with buying Russian oil and the fluctuating prices has helped fuel the diesel shortage.
Farmers are having to cut back on other items because many of them are produced at the same factories that provide diesel.
“We’ve had to cut back on some of our farm chemicals and fertilizers because we just can’t get them. There are so many shortages right now because a lot of these things are manufactured at plants that burn diesel.” says Oklahoma farmer, Tim Heinrich.
Many farmers have stated that they are barely hanging on as prices continue to surge for everything, but their income remains the same and many are having to rely on loans to try and make it through the tough times.
“Almost every farmer out here has a big old loan. The people in town might drive by and they see our equipment and our barns and they think, oh, he’s got it made. But we’re all one hiccup away from losing it. Every one of us is just one hiccup from losing it,” Heinrich said.