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Record Diesel Prices May Lead to Food Scarcity Crisis

Record Diesel Prices May Lead to Food Scarcity Crisis

“Feeling the pinch at the pump, farmers can decide to stop planting certain crops to save money on fuel, which, in turn, could result in higher food prices and even food shortages.”

Farmers are warning that a record-setting prices on diesel fuel, coupled with soaring inflation, could lead to a food scarcity crisis in this country.

“For so long, we’ve enjoyed lots of food in this country, so we’ve never ever faced a food shortage and I think that’s coming in the coming months,” John Boyd Jr., president of the National Black Farmers Association, said during an interview on NewsNation’s “On Balance” with Leland Vittert on Monday.

Average diesel prices in the US Monday reached $5.70 per gallon, representing a $2.40 increase compared to the same period last year.

Farmers disproportionately rely on diesel to fuel their tractors and other heavy machinery used to plant and harvest crops, burning up to thousands of gallons a month, depending on the size of their operation.

Feeling the pinch at the pump, farmers can decide to stop planting certain crops to save money on fuel, which, in turn, could result in higher food prices and even food shortages.

Pennsylvania farmers brought their concerns and experiences to the attention of their state lawmakers recently.

“We have reached that point to where it is very close to being a sinking ship,” Kotzmoyer, a legislative affairs specialist for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, testified to state lawmakers Tuesday. “We are teetering on the edge right now.”

His appearance came in the third hearing on soaring inflation held by the House Republican Policy Committee.

The overall testimony suggested the dire farm situation will exacerbate the rate of already steep food price increases. The federal government reported last week that food prices in May were 10.1% higher than a year earlier, with the rate of increase gaining speed.

After the hearing — in a phone interview — Kotzmoyer made clear that food may not be as available because of the fuel price surge.

“One, if they can’t afford to put it in the ground,” he said of farming using diesel-thirsty machinery. “Or, two, if they can’t afford to take it out.”

Meanwhile, the nation could be hit with a severe shortage of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), which will add to the economic hardships.

DEF is a solution made up of urea and de-ionized water that is needed for almost everything that runs on diesel. It reduces harmful gases being released into the atmosphere and works by converting nitrogen oxide produced by diesel engines into nitrogen and steam.

The solution is injected into the exhaust stream to limit pollution from diesel engines in order to meet current exhaust emissions standards.

Every diesel truck manufactured since 2010 is required to use DEF. It is also a requirement of many diesel vehicles, including trucks, tractors, buses, RVs, and private vehicles.

Due to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, supplies of urea, a key ingredient in DEF, have fallen.

The production of urea is tied directly to gas prices. Under President Donald Trump, American production began to boom in 2017.

U.S. output of urea, a key nitrogen-based fertilizer, surged by around 10% last year, boosted by a number of new and expanded plants in states from Iowa to Louisiana that helped increase total capacity by 24%. Meanwhile, output in China, the world’s No. 1 fertilizer producer, slumped by 7% in 2016, and its exports dropped by more than a third.

These shifting fortunes aren’t due to government intervention such as higher import tariffs or entreaties to “buy American.” Instead, they are largely due to trends in global energy markets.

U.S. fertilizer producers are benefiting from the long-brewing shale revolution. The combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has significantly boosted production, bringing down the cost of gas.

There are so many reasons that a recent survey found more registered voters now say they would cast ballots for Trump (44%) than for Biden (42%). The diesel and urea shortages can be added to an ever expanding list.

In “doing away with fossil fuels,” Biden and his green justice cronies may have effectively done away with our means of feeding ourselves and a significant portion of the rest of the world.


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LibraryGryffon | June 18, 2022 at 12:12 pm

And just 2 days ago I read that Connecticut’s fearless leaders in Hartford are planning on raising tax on diesel by 9 cents a gallon on July 1st.

    alaskabob in reply to LibraryGryffon. | June 18, 2022 at 12:23 pm

    The convergence of death and taxes.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to LibraryGryffon. | June 18, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    I assume that the Democrats control both the legislature and governorship in Connecticut. So anything that they can do to make life harder for the Deplorables is considered mandatory.

    Subotai Bahadur

    Dimsdale in reply to LibraryGryffon. | June 19, 2022 at 8:24 am

    After they wisely took out the gasoline tax, albeit temporarily.

    Lefties just can’t see the forest for the trees; they will drive their economies into the dirt (more than the crops).

    You know that special time when the tide goes waaaay out before a tsunami comes in? We are watching that receding (recession joke here?) occurring as we speak.

Well, at least there are no mean tweets from the White House.

All going to plan it seems. After all, communists love to starve their subjects.

The news is having trouble with prices and scarcity. Scarcity causes high prices. The story could be record diesel prices may lead to record food prices, or record diesel scarcity may lead to food scarcity.

They uncouple only if you have price controls, in which case you get moderate prices but no product.

Otherwise the high price does the rationing needed.

“Average diesel prices in the US Monday reached $5.70 per gallon”
A little misleading when applied to fuel used in agriculture which is exempt from Federal fuel tax and probably may be tax free in many states. Rising costs, however, still a big problem for farmers. (and us)

    alaskabob in reply to SHV. | June 18, 2022 at 1:45 pm

    Really? So everything in the country magically shows up? The exception is not the rule and that is misleading.

    RandomCrank in reply to SHV. | June 18, 2022 at 1:52 pm

    Idiot, the tax status of diesel has not changed. Yes, there’s an off-road break. There was before. But, you moron, the value of that break as a share of the fuel price has diminished. Please tell us: Just how stupid are you?

    Guardian79 in reply to SHV. | June 18, 2022 at 3:37 pm

    There ain’t no tax break for DEF, which is required for the tractors. And no tax breaks for the semi-trucks and trains that have to haul the product from the farm to the wholesalers and processing plant and then to the store.

    dmacleo in reply to SHV. | June 18, 2022 at 5:18 pm

    off road diesel is 5.70/gallon here.
    but the semis they use to haul seed, haul finished product to grain co-ops, etc, usually uses on road and often has the fuel stickers displayed.

So, is the DEF requirement enforced by some type of sensor in tractor? It seems like you could just bypass that the same way people hollow out their catalytic converter, no?

    RandomCrank in reply to Dathurtz. | June 18, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    DEF sensor simulators exist, but I don’t know anything more.

    Guardian79 in reply to Dathurtz. | June 18, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    Most modern tractors won’t run without it. John Deere owns the software on the tractors and will know if you’re not using DEF. It will void the warranty, so if the tractor breaks, the tractor is essentially a lump of metal with the farmer unable to fix it. And if the farmer tries to delete the DEF system, John Deere will know and shutdown the tractor remotely. Look up the “Right to Fix” movement.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to starve the people before taking their guns away from them
And I’m not talking suicide

    Whitewall in reply to gonzotx. | June 18, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    Starve them, keep trying to disarm them, tell them it’s only going to get worse especially if they have the audacity to complain or, heaven help, vote wrong. hy-fertilizer/production-of-fertillizer/

My father was a Coastie. I was Navy. In his civilian life he was in shipping. I was technically an engineer later, but I was in shipping. When you are in the sea services your main mission is keeping the sea lanes open.

We’re going to run out of DEF. It will suck hard. I hope everybody had a rifle.

    Arminius in reply to Arminius. | June 18, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    I’m thinking of raising hawgs. You throw away doughnuts, I raise pigs.

      Snail in reply to Arminius. | June 18, 2022 at 2:14 pm

      Arminius, send me your address and I’ll ship you my extra donuts. Normally I send them to The View but I’d rather your hawgs have them. You’re welcome.

        Peabody in reply to Snail. | June 18, 2022 at 2:45 pm

        If you have any extra gas send it to me. My Hawg is a Harley.

          Arminius in reply to Peabody. | June 18, 2022 at 6:36 pm

          Maybe you think I’m kidding. Back in the early 2000s I served in Sandy Eggo with a few Chiefs. They raised hogs.,

          Peabody, what is this thing you speak of? Extra gas.

Not only diesel, but there are also shortages of DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) which is mandated by the EPA on newer diesel equipment. Which, by the way, the base ingredient is urea. Guess who are the top suppliers of urea, China and Russia. Also, fertilizer has been in short supply.

I live in farm country. Between the cost of diesel, the shortages of DEF and fertilizers, the cost of electricity, and the rising cost of financing, I see farmers unable to plant their fields due to costs and shortages, especially smaller farms which cannot secure the financing needed to plant a crop.

    Arminius in reply to Guardian79. | June 18, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    Not to pile on, but to pile the F on, asphalt. Did I mention I’ve been in the transportation industry since I was born? Actually I’ve been in the armed black men since I was born industry. Hello! Sentries!

    So, to pile the f on, asphalt. Storm season is coming. Nearly all roofs in America are made with asphalt tiles. Guess how you produce asphalt?

    Great! Now you can’t start your generator. Now you can’t fix the hole in your roof.

    Arminius in reply to Guardian79. | June 18, 2022 at 6:54 pm

    why is it nobody asks us? I’m not an engineer. But I kind of sorta played one. I planned logistical moves, how to get from point A to point B. How to move a certain number of personnel X miles.

    Is everyone crazy? Has everyone gone off their nut? I want to take a base ball bat to everyone’s cranium and restore some sanity.

The funny thing about farmers is that even though they are the main proponents of ethanol, push E15 and E85, their tractors don’t run on that stuff.

Albigensian | June 18, 2022 at 3:47 pm

Modern agriculture (but especially the grain crops that produce most of our caloric intake) is absolutely dependent on nitrogen fertilizers: without them, yields plummer. Is it necessary to point out that these fertilizers are derived from fossil fuels?

    iconotastic in reply to Albigensian. | June 18, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    Americans living in cities will need to experience high prices & shortages before they realize that it wasn’t unicorn flatulence providing the fertilizer. And we will still have to go through the demonization of “Big Food” first.

      CommoChief in reply to iconotastic. | June 18, 2022 at 7:08 pm

      Their food doesn’t come from a farm it comes from the grocery. A surprising number of people have zero clue as to how many hands and many steps are involved. I seriously doubt these arrogant tools will care until their local grocery is out of stock which will be far too late.

        Subotai Bahadur in reply to CommoChief. | June 18, 2022 at 7:43 pm

        On average in an urban area the stores and local warehouses for the store chains/suppliers have a 3 day supply. Everything depends on an intact supply chain, the very thing the government is doing its best to ensure we do not have. The consequences are going to be interesting. I expect that the unpleasantness is going to move from the inner city to the suburbs, then beyond. How far will depend on the level of resistance to looting. Brought to you by the Democrats and their Institutional Republican allies. We are existing now, on food products grown last year. Less will be grown this year. The number of people to be fed will increase, if only because of the lack of a southern border.

        Subotai Bahadur

          Subotai Bahadur in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | June 18, 2022 at 7:45 pm

          addendum: That intact supply chain I mentioned is pretty much entirely dependent on those diesel trucks that are going to be non-operational due to lack of fuel or DEF. Even inside the cities.

          Subotai Bahadur

        Or for many in the city, the food comes from a restaurant. How long until they recognize the steep rise in costs or until the restaurant can no longer make their desired entree?

        WTPuck in reply to CommoChief. | June 21, 2022 at 12:25 pm

        Mike Rowe’s television series (all of them) should be required viewing in schools, in each grade, elementary through grad school.

LukeHandCool | June 18, 2022 at 3:56 pm

Don’t worry.

There are plenty of crickets to keep us alive.

Bill Gates says we can live indefinitely on crickets and other insect protein and recycled toilet water.

Yeah, it won’t be that cool future envisioned in the 1950s. But not too shabby!

I called half a dozen asphalt companies last summer to arrange sealcoating for my driveway. Only one called me back and was honest enough to admit that seal-coating material is in short supply thanks to the supply chain issues and war in Ukraine.

Guardian79, you don’t fill both tanks and the truck doesn’t run. If I wasn’t clear, diesel and DEF. Is everybody readyb f0r the fleet force parked?

Sorry. Fat fingered.

Just ban deliveries to California, New York and DC and watch how fast the government acts.

Once you rodent proof the pantry, the hardest part of stocking up is managing the inventory and shelf life.

Most houses aren’t built for this. If you zillow through Utah, the mormon houses have it well done.

Planning our next house, I want about a 30 foot walk in pantry. If well designed you stock from one side (or the back/top if you slant the shelving) and draw from the other which helps out with the shelf date management.

    lc in reply to Andy. | June 19, 2022 at 6:45 am

    I do hope people need your advice.
    I am longing for a big pantry or even a basement.
    Stow and grow folks.

Then you’re left with the fact that the only weirdo you have left to share the house is yourself. My survival back in the 90s, still my survival plan, buy enough SKSs to equip the entire neighborhood.

Easy peasy when an SKS cost $79.95

Circular reasoning, I know.