“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.”
National Black Farmers Association president: "We've never, ever faced a food shortage — and I think that's coming.
"The Biden administration, that I've been urging to take more swift action, still hasn't taken the action that I believe is needed." pic.twitter.com/xziga6dxZU
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 17, 2022
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.DONATE
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