Gas prices will continue to drive up food prices

So will rising fuel costs result in rising food costs?

In this Eye on Energy report, News 11's Dick Berry heads to the area's farms for an answer.

We last saw Pemberville farmer Roger Burtchin in the fall as he harvested his crops. He's had three good years of yields and profits.

Roger isn't so sure what will happen this fall when he heads out to the fields. "I guess with the increased commodity prices, it takes a little bit of the edge off. But with all the increases in fuel and fertilizer, we're not going to make much more per acre than we did before."

Roger estimates his tractor will suck down eight to nine gallons of fuel for every hour he's either planting or harvesting crops.

But there are other energy costs, such as drying the crop then hauling it to market. Roger already has his management plan in place. He'll use the 'no till' style to plant his crops; a style that doesn't require as many trips into the field, so he can reduce fuel consumption. "We will plant soybeans right into the corn stubble we left there last fall. We haven't been back to the field since we harvested it. Go in, plant, spray it and that will be it then."

Roger says you will see food prices go up. But don't blame the farmer. "I go to the grocery store, a loaf of bread is up," he says, "It isn't because of the price wheat. It's because the price of diesel used to move that commodity from the grain bin to the kitchen table."

Right now, the only move most folks want to see is a drop in fuel prices. You heard Roger Burtchin mention high commodity prices. Farmers have nothing to do with that. He says it's due to a worldwide market shortage.

Right now the fields remain covered with snow. Roger says he and other farmers in the area hope to get out into the fields by mid April.

Posted by LS