Farmer concerned high fuel prices are here to stay
Increasing fuel prices are a big concern for farmers heading into spring planting season.
John Yeley, who farms corn and soybeans near Marshall in east central Illinois, tells Brownfield sudden price volatility stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is making it difficult to decide when and if he should lock in fuel supplies.
“I priced a semi load of off-highway diesel about 10 days ago. It was $3.40 a gallon the night that I priced it and by the time I could get it the next day it was 15 cents higher, and I just couldn’t decide what to do. I know it has gone up considerably since then and I don’t see any end in sight.”
He says he was able to sell some $8 corn and $17 beans the other day, but the rising cost of fuel and fertilizer will quickly cut profitability.
“You’re looking at double or triple the price on fuel and fertilizer, so we will probably make less money this year than we did last year even with the higher commodity prices. It is a very interesting time to farm.”
And Yeley says with everything going on in the world today, there is no indication fuel prices will go down anytime soon.
“I anticipate this being a problem for the next year if not longer. I saw this morning that we banned imports of Russian oil and gas. We are not really expanding our production here in the US. If our President had okayed the Keystone Pipeline, I don’t think this would be as much of a concern. But I think it is a long term problem and we are just going to have to feel the pain for a while.”
Yeley runs a B11 blend of biodiesel and a 15% ethanol gasoline blend which helps minimize fuels costs. He also uses biological products on his corn and soybeans which he expects will help with fertilizer costs this year.