The ever-rising cost to fuel food production in the Mountain States
Record high fuel prices concern all consumers and farmers are no exception. Planting, growing, and harvesting are fuel-intensive processes, which eat away at a farmer’s supply of gasoline, off-road diesel, and road diesel.
Despite progress, alternative fuels are a far-off solution, so providing a reliable and affordable fuel source protects the nation’s food supply. Current outlooks predict further price escalations and supply shortages of diesel – a main component of agricultural fuel usage.
At the farm gate, escalating fuel prices will continue to drag down margins, despite high crop prices. A recent letter to President Biden from the American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall reads, “Every input that arrives on our farms and ranches is transported by a diesel engine, whether that is by boat or barge, rail or truck. Our crops are planted by diesel engines and harvested by diesel engines. High diesel prices are severely impacting our farmers and ranchers, causing increased costs to consumers, and adding to food insecurity.”
Diesel prices have skyrocketed $1.50 per gallon from 2021 to 2022.
Escalating fuel prices continue to drag down farming margins, despite high crop prices.
In the mountain states, total acreage and crop choice are the major influencer of fuel usage.
Idaho, Montana and Washington use more fuel for crops than Wyoming and Utah.
Elevated fuel prices force farmers to switch to less fuel intensive crops, threatening food security and hurting farming communities.