Farmers in North Carolina said they are feeling the impact of inflation, which is a top issue ahead of the state’s primaries.
Tommy Porter, a farmer in Concord, NC, told FOX Business’ Connell McShane in an interview that aired on “Varney & Co,” Monday, that his increased input costs are “not sustainable.”
Porter used the price of fertilizer as an example of how inflation has been impacting his business, noting that the cost is “up three to four times what it was a year ago.”
“A 275-gallon tote of generic Roundup, which is a weed killer, a year ago [was] $1400; now [it’s] over $10,000,” he noted.
“Everything has gone out of sight,” he added, pointing out that there is “nowhere” to pass that cost on to. “Farmers are price takers, we’re not price makers.”
Porter explained that the price of cattle is ‘no better’ than it was a year or so ago, telling McShane that he’s got ‘three to four times the cost’ to produce them presently and is ‘receiving no more’ for them. “That’s not sustainable,” he warned.
FARMERS FEEL THE SQUEEZE OF INFLATION
On Wednesday it was revealed that inflation cooled on an annual basis for the first time in months in April, but rose more than expected as supply chain constraints, the Russian war in Ukraine, and strong consumer demand continued to keep consumer prices running near a 40 -year high.
Russia is one of the world’s biggest exporters of all three major groups of fertilizers and as the war in Ukraine rages on, concerns grow that prices will continue to rise.
The Labor Department said Wednesday that the consumer price index, a broad measure of the price for everyday goods including gasoline, groceries and rents, rose 8.3% in April from a year ago, below the 8.5% year-over-year surge recorded in March . Prices jumped 0.3% in the one-month period from March.
Those figures were higher than both the 8.1% headline figure and 0.2% monthly gain forecast by Refinitiv economists.
INFLATION SOARS 8.3% IN APRIL, HOVERING NEAR 40-YEAR HIGH
Porter told McShane Monday that he is tied into some contracts and as a result cannot raise prices to account for his increased costs. McShane reports that Porter is worried about the future.
McShane also reported that FOX Business spoke with farmers in a different part of the industry who noted that they are getting hit hard by wage inflation, given that they have to pay more to attract and retain workers.
Speaking on this very issue, the brothers who own Donaldson Farms in New Jersey told former congressman and Fox News contributor Sean Duffy in March that increased labor costs in the area – in addition to other increased costs – are impacting their business. The Donaldson brothers noted that a department store nearby has a starting wage of $24 an hour, making it hard for them to retain workers unless their wages are on par.
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McShane reported on Monday that, because of inflation, Republicans are increasingly confident in a state like North Carolina – although Tuesday’s primary may not be the final word for would-be nominees, as first-place candidates must get more than 30% of the vote to avoid a July 26 runoff.
Former President Trump made a bold endorsement in backing US Rep. Ted Budd in North Carolina for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Richard Burr. Budd is now in a strong position to win the Republican nomination.
Budd’s top competitors in the 11-way primary are former US Rep. Mark Walker, who had actively sought Trump’s support, and former Gov. Pat McCrory, who is considered a moderate in the race.
On the Democratic side, Cheri Beasley, the former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, has appeared to clear her 11-person field of significant rivals and if she wins in November, she would be the state’s first Black senator.
In Congress, Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina is trying to survive a Republican primary after a turbulent first term in office.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.