Jefferson County farmer dealing with high prices because of inflation

Farmers hit hard by inflation
Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 8:35 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 6, 2022 at 10:36 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Inflation continues to pack a hard punch, impacting the way we live and work. Farmers say they’re paying excessive prices for items required to do the job.

A Jefferson County farmer says the cost for items like fertilizer and diesel fuel are hitting the wallet hard.

“Well when you start paying five dollars, almost six dollars a gallon for diesel fuel when you’re running tractors with it, it’s hard to make anything,” said Stevan Parsons.

Parsons is the mayor of Sylvan Springs and a cattle farmer in Jefferson County. He’s also a veterinarian and the president of Jefferson County Farmers Federation.

“Farmers for the most part live on the edge,” he said. “We depend on the good Lord more than anything to supply the rain and grow the grass that our livestock eats but at the same time too, when we’re having to cut it and use it for fuel for that sorta thing and bailing hay, bush hogging, planting -- all that requires diesel fuel and those costs have been really excessive this year.”

According to AAA, the average price for diesel fuel a year ago was around $3 and now it’s around $5.

Parsons says it’s difficult to offset the high gas price, but inflation is driving up the cost of more than that. He says fertilizer prices are high too and they aren’t able to fertilize the pastures as often because of the cost.

Feed for the cattle is also more costly, according to Parsons.

“Across the board in the market, prices have been up but the same time too, the weight of cattle has been down,” he added.

Inflation isn’t the only difficulty right now for farmers. Parsons says the excessive heat is slowing down how quickly the cattle gain weight. He’s hoping the fall will bring cooler temperatures and lower costs.

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