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Rising prices and inflation hit North Texas farmers and ranchers hard

Rising prices and inflation hitting farmers hard
Rising prices and inflation hitting farmers hard 01:39

ELLIS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) - As inflation continues to soar, local farmers and ranchers are feeling the pinch as the price to grow and sustain their products continues to increase.

"I've been doing this 30 years and I've never seen it this high," said Ellis County farmer Steven Beakley.

It's sticker shock for Beakley as the price to do business for him grows faster than his crops. 

"With the price of fertilizer three to four times higher than it was last year, our inputs increase our risk tremendously," added Beakley. He's talking about $900 more a ton for fertilizer. 

And for diesel, it's also a burden to pay for right now. "We used to order in a 2,000 gallon load of diesel for farm fuel for around $4,500. Now you're looking at $10,000 for that same load," said Beakley.

Those prices are forcing Beakley to make some tough decisions, such as not running his semi until the fall.

"We're going to park the truck and wait until harvest gets here," said Beakley.

Over on John Ashcraft's ranch, the price to feed and process his cattle and then deliver the meat have swollen as well.

"Total production costs have gone up 30 to 35% since last fall, so unfortunately we have to pass that on to the consumer," said Ashcraft.

And if he didn't pass on the buck to consumers? "We'd go out of business, that's it," answered Ashcraft. "I still have to make a living."

Agricultural producers are concerned that this might not be a short-term problem, but one that could linger for quite awhile longer. They believe policy changes aimed at tackling inflation may help them combat skyrocketing prices.

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