How high diesel prices are affecting Clark County farmers
One farmer says he spends nearly roughly a thousand dollars or more per week on diesel
CLARK COUNTY, Ky (WTVQ)- High diesel prices are driving up the cost of everything and it’s impacting the agriculture industry, especially when it comes to farmers.
Ben Webb is a Clark county farmer. He and his family grow all kinds of vegetables and crops, including tobacco.
He says he spends nearly roughly a thousand dollars or more per week on diesel. With prices continuing to drive up costs, his pocket is taking a hit.
“When prices are as high as they are right now, that can be a hard pill to swallow,” said Webb.
It takes diesel to run a lot of equipment on the Webb farm.
“Not only tractors and sprayers, like this. We’ve got weed eaters, chainsaws if something like a tree limb comes down, just all kinds of different implements,” said Webb.
Farmers like Webb have been seeing the high prices for months.
“I filled up my work truck and my other truck, my Holland truck, the other day and it cost me about $300, which was just one week. Some things spend a little quicker, but it wouldn’t be crazy to say $750-$1000 a week on fuel,” said Webb.
According to AAA, diesel prices in the U.S. average $5.49 a gallon.
Here in Kentucky, the average is slightly lower at $5.44. Although in Lexington, some gas stations are hitting the $5.65 mark.
While some farmers using diesel-fired equipment are taking a hit of thousands of dollars per week, passing on the costs to consumers, Webb says that’s not the case for him.
“Farmers are the only ones in the economy that buy retail and sell wholesale and then pay the freight both ways. There’s a lot of truth to that. There’s a lot of different businesses, you can pass the price of fuel on to the consumer, but here we cant do this.”
The farm has done everything possible to save as much money as possible.
For now, Webb says he’s just doing what he can to get through the next year.
“So you gotta find ways to save money when this is your job.”
ABC 36 also spoke with cattle farmer Amanda Hall in Scott County. She says it’s hard for her farm to find drivers to take their cows out west to states like Iowa, simply because diesel prices are so high.