MESHOPPEN, Pa. — For 41 years, Ed Brewer of Tallow Hill Farms in Meshoppen usually takes the month of December to relax now that the harvest is complete. But he says he can't with next year's crop in jeopardy.
"The rumors coming out of the Midwest that there was gonna be a shortage of farm herbicides, fertilizer, and some seeds," Brewer said.
After doing some research, he says it's worse than he imagined.
"The price on herbicide went from $15 a gallon to $80. And you just can't; you can't break even, let alone make a profit on that. It's just not possible. And fertilizer has gone from $450 a ton to over $1,000. So when you take and figure out what it's going to cost you per acre to grow your crop, it's just not feasible, and we don't even know if we can get these products," he added because of shortages. So he's being asked to pre-pay ultra-high prices for something he needs but does not know whether or not he'll get it in time.
"You know, we import most everything anymore, whether it's herbicides or fertilizer, and that's where it's at, and is it a trucking problem? It's just, we just don't know we're told different things in a conflict," said Brewer.
Brewer says he's made it through tough times and is too stubborn to quit, but right now, he doesn't see a way to make it through the troubles he foresees ahead.
"It's not a local issue here in our area, but across the whole country," Brewer said he's hearing from other farmers. "So if you take that across the whole United States, it's gonna affect the food supply the food chain that has to whether its prices or shortages."
If that happens, Brewer says he hopes the folks at home "understand that we're not the fault of what's going on in the grocery store. As far as prices, it may lead back to us because of availability of food. But again, that's not our choice. That's not what we do. You know, the American farmer has always been to supply food to not only the United States but the world."
Newswatch 16 reached out to the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau to see if this issue is on its radar. We are waiting to hear back.
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