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USDA Farm Bill Won't Curb Rising Costs, Farmers Say

by 5m Editor
24 April 2007, at 10:35am

US - Farmers, angry over rising farm fuel costs, energy and fertilizer say the USDA is not doing enough to help and even though grain crop prices are at record highs.

Last year, Agricultural representatives from across the country advising farmers about cutting back on watering, planting techniques and using alternatives to commercial fertilizer in an attempt to cut operating costs. Although some of the advice was sound, most farmers have had to get creative and find their own ways around a growing problem - the rising cost of farming.

Dan Varner a farmer from Arkansas said, "The cost of commercial fertilizer this year has risen 25% while chicken litter jumped nearly 50 percent." Many farmers are frustrated and those who opted for using chicken litter have seen salt levels build up in their fields, which has caused problems for forage crops.

Reports suggest that fertilizer sales increased 26% in 2006 and across the grain belt States many critics say arable farmers growing soybeans and corn are going to make money this year thanks to record-high crop prices. However, livestock farmers say the cost of feed is too high and they're looking to cut back production levels.

Grain farmers say they're also suffering because the cost of energy rose nearly 23 percent this year and fertilizer costs are up even more. Some believe there will not be enough commercial fertilizer available to supply the massive increase in corn acreage planted this year.

According to the latest government report the cost of food in the first three months of this year rose 7.4%on an annualized basis. With record-high grain prices and cutbacks in cattle, pork and poultry production, consumers could see a double-digit rise in the cost of food this year.

5m Editor