Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Input Costs

High Fuel Prices Altering California Planting Plans

Sacramento--As oil prices have soared in recent weeks due to rising tensions in the Middle East and fears of major supply disruptions, California farmers are bracing for a more difficult year with higher production costs that will erode farm income.

With fuel prices climbing even before the current spike, Yolo County farmer Gary Merwin said he decided to “drastically reduce” his irrigated crops because of the cost of diesel fuel to pump water.

Merwin had already gotten out of the tomato business in 2004 because of the cost of water pumping. This year, he is taking out a substantial portion of his alfalfa acreage—from 1,100 to 200—and planting more wheat and safflower.

California Farm Bureau article

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