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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Surly Location: Grrr on May 13, 2011 at 03:23 AM
    I passed on federal money too, and for bout the same reasons -- not sure it economically wise, though.
  • by Georgia Boy Location: Cairo on May 12, 2011 at 04:47 AM
    We've got a small farm, around 275 acres, and we grow cattle on it. Funny thing is, most cattle come from smaller farms. We still have the expense of fertilizer and fuel for hay and pastures as well as winter grazing, medicine and vet bills. And glyphosate is cheaper, but far from cheap unless you buy it in large qusntities. And do you know what? I have never taken a dime from the Feds because if you do there are always hooks in it to give them a little more control over your farm. And I refuse to give up my rights to them.
  • by Anonymous on May 11, 2011 at 12:10 PM
    you should put this story back up wctv PRETTY INTERESTING.
  • by tina Location: ga on May 11, 2011 at 12:08 PM
    $4 a gallon for disel $15 a 50 pound bag for fertizler. just 2 years ago fertizler was $10 a bag. look at the prices you people are paying in the groshery store. and the farmers are barely getting by. GOD HELP THE WORLD.
  • by farmerswife on May 11, 2011 at 09:12 AM
    so its ok if we pee on the food you consume? walk a mile in a farmers shoes. My husband currently leaves the house at 6:30 and doesn't get home most nights until after 8....sheww what a long day planting the cotton that makes the clothes on your back! I always knew America was selfish, inconsiderate, and impatient, but my goodness this definitely puts the icing on the cake. I hope you pray for your farmers every night when you lay down to sleep soundly in your bed. My husband will be up several times thru the night making sure the crops are being watered. Sweet Dreams!
  • by jes on May 11, 2011 at 05:25 AM
    Farm subsidies should be abolished since the majority of tax money go to large agri-business. Originally this program was designed to keep small farmers from losing thier farms. But most small farmers sold their farms to large agri-corps over the years. Just more corporate welfare we tax payers support. Do away with the subsidies and produce prices will not go up. It will force agri-corps to use the millions of farm acres not used (subsidized not to grow) to actually grow more food.
  • by Coming from a family of farmers on May 11, 2011 at 05:23 AM
    I would never wish farming upon anyone. It is a thankless job that is 24-7. My family NEVER took government money even in crop disaster years. 150 years of farming with integrity. It is a tough business and with today's giant corporations controlling just how much a farmer is paid I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
  • by surly Location: grr on May 11, 2011 at 05:06 AM
    Well, there is some good news -- 1) pee is very good fertilizer. 2) healthy humans produce enough pee every year to fertilize at minimum about a 50' x 100' garden. 3) glyphosate (generic roundup) is cheap, so you don't need to buy expensive machinery (but you still have to work like hell). I am sure Tim will be overjoyed to hear this, and immediately start growing all his own food -- also, "raised on a farm" can start saving a little money.
  • by Georgia Boy Location: Cairo on May 11, 2011 at 03:44 AM
    Fuel prices increase the cost of everything. The production of food costs more than just tractor fuel and fertilizer. The cost of transporting all of the ingredients and finished product is also higher due to higher fuel costs. I remember some time ago a Democrat said gas prices needed to be $5.00 a gallon to slow our usage. Well, he's going to soon have his wish.
  • by country Location: homedirt on May 10, 2011 at 07:48 PM
    Sigh. Yeah, Tim. And while you are doing your math, do not forget that those gov't subsidies REDUCE the price YOU currently pay at the store, and help maintain a constant supply of that lovely food you have NEVER HAD TO DO WITHOUT, EVEN ONE DAY. Unlike so many others...
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