Even as America’s producers and families grapple with the highest inflation in 40 years, skyrocketing energy costs, and a supply chain crisis, the Biden administration has continued to place needless red-tape and barriers in the way of farmers and ranchers. A new survey conducted in June shows that farmer sentiment has plummeted to the lowest reading since the 2020 COVID lockdown as production costs are expected to surge AT LEAST 30% this year.
In response to this economic crisis facing producers and Biden’s burdensome regulatory agenda, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republican Leader of the House Agriculture Committee GT Thompson sent a letter to President Biden, urging the administration to address farm input costs, halt changes to “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS), ensure the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refocuses on sound science, and end onerous climate rules that are currently crushing the ability for America’s producers to meet global food demand.
To read the full letter by Leader McCarthy, Ranking Member GT Thompson, and 94 other House Republicans, click HERE.
BIDEN’S INFLATION CRISIS:
- A new survey conducted in June shows that farmer sentiment has plummeted to the lowest reading since the 2020 COVID lockdown.
- Production costs are now expected to surge AT LEAST 30% this year.
- As the price of inputs rise, so do the final products. As a result, Americans are paying more at the grocery store.
- In 2020, Americans spent 8.62% of their income on groceries; now in 2022, Americans are spending 12% of their income on groceries.
- Four out of every ten large-scale farmers and ranchers reported trouble buying inputs, including fertilizer and farm equipment.
- Fifty-seven percent of the largest U.S. farmers said they expect input prices to climb by at least 20 percent in the next year.
- Already, diesel is up 115%, natural gas 202%, fertilizer 220%, and fertilizer ingredients are up 125% from January 2021 to January 2022.
- Prices for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizers – the three most commonly used commercial fertilizers – more than doubled between 2020 and 2021.
- Nitrogen fertilizer, which accounts for more than 50% of the commercial fertilizer used by farmers, is expected to see price increases in 2022 of more than 80% from the previous year.
- Natural gas, which rose steadily in price during 2021, is a key ingredient for the production of fertilizers.
- In some areas, the cost of fertilizer has increased by 500%.
- Rising gas prices affect everything from increasing planting costs to increasing transportation costs.
- In February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted a 7.9% decline in farm income for 2022, mostly due to rising input costs.
- Farmers need a lot of energy to keep their farms running, including fuels such as diesel to run tractors – yet the average price increase of all types of gasoline is up 38% from February 2021.
HOUSE DEMS FOCUS ON GREEN AGENDA WHILE REPUBLICANS FIGHT INFLATION:
- Republicans are calling for policies to address global food security while Democrats are only worried about policies to address global warming.
- As we face these challenges, Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee are spending their time examining the role of USDA programs in addressing climate change.
- Chair David Scott (D-Ga.) has called for U.S. agriculture to act as the “tip of the spear” to tackle climate change.
- In February, the Agriculture Department announced $1 billion in funding for pilots aimed at combating climate change.
- House Agriculture Republicans are fighting Democrats in their efforts to make climate change the focus of every title in the upcoming Farm Bill reauthorization.