MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Inflation hit 8.5% this March — the highest rate since 1981. While you can feel the effects checking out at the grocery store, those who farm the food we eat every day say their planting season is off to an expensive start.
“We’ve got more at risk than I reckon I’ve ever had in my career,” Brian Glenn said.
Glenn and his family have farmed their land, Glenn Acre Farms, in Lawrence County for generations. This year though, is different.
“Nitrogen fertilizer that we’re using just put out on wheat, last year cost me $220 a ton, this year is running $655 a ton. We’ve just got so much more at risk than normal years,” Glenn said.
Glenn says price increases in fertilizer, fuel and crop protection products like herbicides are making spring planting season stressful.
“One of the things that seems to be a common thread with all of my friends and neighbors, is just the stress level of dealing with the added prices,” Glenn said.
Mitt Walker with the Alabama Farmers Federation says because of those raised prices, corn crops are down this year as farmers switch to soybeans, which need less fertilizer and financial input.
“The real concern is that some of the products they need may not even be available, some of the crop protection products, and that is also playing into some of these planting decisions,” Walker said.
Walker says not having certain products puts farmers in a tough spot when deciding what to plant.
“It certainly brings up some concern there. Lot of uncertainty, lot of tough decisions being made right now,” Walker said.
Food prices are expected to continue rising, according to a recent report from the USDA, predicting grocery prices will go up another 3 to 4 percent this year.