Inflation now fueled by war is squeezing U.S. farmers, jeopardizing margins, and making the business of farming even riskier. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to the Senate Banking Committee; “The agricultural businesses are paying big fertilizer costs, and we hear a lot of stress in that sector.”
Farm bill writers like House Ag Chair David Scott are concerned saying, “Rising inflation has had a substantial impact on both the prices of our commodities as well as the input costs farmers are facing. Things like fertilizer, as several of you have mentioned that.”
Others are speaking out, including National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “Rising input costs are a major concern, specifically fertilizer. Prices have soared to record levels.”
It’s made worse by overseas demand and tightening supplies from the loss or possible loss of fertilizer inputs from Russia and Ukraine. Top Ag Republican Glenn Thompson says farmers are being squeezed. “We can have record-high commodity prices we’re getting, but with inflation, it’s the margin that matters and something we need to take into consideration.”
Something both parties and witnesses agreed must be factored into safety net programs in the next farm bill to match changing economic conditions.