The Price of Farming

By: Donnitra Gilbert Email
By: Donnitra Gilbert Email

"I started farming in 1965," says Grady County farmer Dan Jones.

In 1965, Dan Jones says he sold 50 pounds of cabbage for six dollars. Now more than 40 years later, he's still selling fresh produce for the same price.

"Twelve cents a pound is what I get -- about six dollars a bag, but the grocery store gets around 60 cents," says Jones.

Jones says he loves being a farmer, but tough economic times and the price of diesel is evaporating his income.

"Diesel fuel is something that farmers have to depend on a lot and the increase in fuel prices have really driven our production cost up," says Grady County Extension Agent Don Clark.

Jones says the production cost for produce on his one-thousand acres is costing him a pretty penny, but the high price of gas isn't the only thing to blame.

"Diesel, naturally, and fertilizer is the two things that's the main ingredients in a crop. They're affecting everything," says Jones.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the national cost for diesel per gallon is more than four bucks, that's double what Jones says he used to pay.

"We're trying to feed an ever growing population," says Clark.

A population who says it's becoming a challenge to fill up their tanks and their refrigerators.

"It's a problem. It's going up and we can't afford it," says Thomasville Resident Lessie Patterson.

Jones says farmers aren't in control of their prices. He says whatever the broker pays him is what he earns.

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