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High diesel fuel prices hitting farmers

High fuel prices are hitting all of us hard, and that includes farmers.

CATAWISSA, Pa. — Rohrbach's Farm sits on nearly 60 acres of farmland near Catawissa. Co-owner Mark Rohrbach led Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding on a tour of the farm's cover crops, developed to manage the soil.

There are many costs involved in managing a farm, including seeds, fertilizer, and fuel for the machinery. Still, with diesel fuel reaching historically high prices, things have been challenging for farmers.

"Two years ago, we were at $1.40. Last year we were at $2.10, and now we are up to $4.05 was what we purchased recently."

According to Rohrbach, this has a big impact on the farm's profitability. The high fuel prices make it hard to budget because farmers do not know what their final product will be.

"To try and establish your profitability based off of that, based off of an unknown, is really difficult when we have expenses like fuel, like fertilizer, that are so high. It makes budgeting difficult, and it makes for some difficult times," Rohrbach said.

"Everyone thinks, 'Well, there's some state response to that.' The reality is, there's not a state response to that. You can do a lot of little things," said Russell Redding, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture.

Secretary Redding spoke about the historically high fuel prices. He says the state does not have much control over this.

"Part of it is advocacy for us. The other part is making sure that we're looking at the business aspects of what we can do from the loan standpoint."

Ultimately, the high cost of farming will lead to us paying more for food.

Check fuel prices near you with the WNEP Gas Tracker.

Check out WNEP’s YouTube channel.

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