With the rise in food prices and the continued federal subsidies, farmers are making off like bandits, right? Okay, well, things are better than they have been, but two stories today show that rapidly increasing costs for everything used to bring in a crop are eating into ag profits. “The increase in commodity prices, you’d think would help us,” Donald Patman, 76 (above), told the Dallas Morning News. “But we can’t take advantage of it because … prices have gone up so fast and furious that the farmer just can’t keep up.”
On the front page of the Wall Street Journal this morning, we learn that farmers aren’t doing half as well as fertilizer companies, which have raised prices for their product 65% in the last year. Fuel is up 43%, seed 30% and 3.8% for chemicals. Last Friday, Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate price gouging in the fertilizer industry.