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'It's been very stressful': Farmers raise concerns about the planting season and high costs

Posted at 6:50 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 20:03:15-04

ATLANTIC, Iowa. (KMTV) — This season, farmer Zak Kennedy is three weeks behind in the planting season. He is facing higher costs for fuel, fertilizer and seed.

"All of our inputs are higher. Remarkably higher year on year. As a business owner, I look at it, my prices I see on the other side are gonna be high enough to offset those for this year. We don't know what that means for next year," said Kennedy.

How does this impact crops?

The USDA reports corn production will likely go down more than 4% and the average price of corn is expected to be up by almost a dollar. Feed grain prices will also increase due to strong demand and elevated global commodity prices.

Kennedy says to keep an eye on cereal grains and anything made with wheat.

"I think you're probably going to see a few things that you're used to buying at the grocery store that might not be there or might be remarkably higher," said Kennedy.

The President of the National Black Farmers Association, John Boyd Jr. warns Midwestern farmers are "hurting."

"Members of the NBFA don't have farm operating loans right now so we're hearing from an awful lot of farmers that will sit this one out due to the high cost of inflation," said Boyd.

The high prices, farmers pay upfront Boyd Jr. estimates will lead to families paying a "high cost."

"An average family of four, you're probably gonna see 25% to 40% increase in food costs. That's my prediction," said Boyd.

In the meantime, farmers like Kennedy will be in the fields worried about crops and prices.

"It's been very stressful. There's things you can get. Things you can't. Everything that we buy and we use is remarkably higher. Trying to keep everything in balance is very interesting at times," said Kennedy.

Rising interest rates also worry some farmers and transporting crops could also be an issue.

Meantime they'll keep an eye on the weather.

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