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'There is no profit to be made anywhere': Farmers feel the weight of skyrocketing gas prices

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Posted at 5:23 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-09 18:18:12-04

BOURBON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — As gas prices reach new highs, farmers said they are feeling financial pressure all around.

In all his years of cattle farming, Mike Thornton said it's never been easy.

"We're always fighting whatever the market is trying to do to us," said Thornton.

But in 2022, the price of gas is putting the squeeze on his already tight bottom line.

"This year our diesel cost was up $1,800. So, that added another $3.16 a ton to our wheat production."

The national average cost of diesel fuel, which is used for most farming equipment, currently sits at $5.50 a gallon.

Thornton buys fuel for his equipment in bulk because it's slightly cheaper than filling up at the pump.

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He said delivery of thousands of gallons of diesel used to cost him around $15,000.

But now at almost $6 a gallon, he paid around $30,000 for his latest delivery.

Running this machine for a 12-hour workday could mean filling up daily.

"On our larger tractors right now, that will hold 200 gallons of fuel you're looking at $1,000," Thornton said.

But it doesn't just stop at gas, supply chain issues have also caused a 40% spike in the price of fertilizer and other farming essentials.

Leaving farmers like Thornton uneasy about the road ahead.

"It is going to be devastating if this trend continues," Thornton said.