The American Farm Bureau Federation is out with some dramatic new figures on the toll fuel inflation is taking on producers and consumers.  AFBF Chief Economist Roger Cryan said the cost of growing food and fiber is soaring.

“At the retail level, gasoline is up 50% from a year ago and fuel oil is up 100% from a year ago, quite a high-cost increase for farmers," with diesel up 74% from a year ago.

And what’s causing the record fuel prices?

“The strength in demand as the economy has recovered from COVID recessions, and the other is the massive disruption of so many markets from the war in Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, on the production side.

“There have been some disruptions to U.S. refining capacity, which affects the market, we also need to see some increases in production if we’re going to make up the gap, resulting from the Russian shortfalls.”

Can farmers still make a profit?

“Farm prices are up for crops, but for crop farmers, those have been really cut into by higher fuel and fertilizer costs. Livestock, animal products, some of those prices are up, but those prices have been undercut, in terms of profitability, by rising crop prices, as well as fuel and fertilizer prices.”

Fuel prices could still come down, but experts say the U.S. must boost domestic oil production and expand refining capacity, both of which require investment and regulatory flexibility lacking right now

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