Local News

As Fuel Prices Rise, So May Consumer Prices

Posted January 2, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— Fuel oil, L.P. gas, and other heating fuels have been climbing in price this year. The increased costs are having an impact on farms, and consumer may soon feel a strain on their wallets.

Whether it is pork, poultry or potted plants, the skyrocketing cost of fuel is causing farmers to dig deeper to pay the heating bill.

"Two years ago, we were paying 32 cents a gallon for No. 2 fuel oil," says farmer Mike Renfrow. "Last year, we paid 69 cents a gallon for No. 2, and this year, we are paying around $1.12 for it."

The increase is not just for fuel oil. L.P. gas, other heating fuels and gasoline are also more expensive. Farmers are beginning to see price increases on their supplies.

For many farmers, there simply is very little way to pass those costs along. Many will be forced to charge more when their products do get to market.

These production cost increases hit at a particularly difficult time. Farmers have been struggling with extremely low prices for about three years.