Diesel price inflation will make harvesting more expensive for farmers

ABERDEEN, SD (Dakota News Now) – Corn is growing and farmers are preparing for harvest season, but inflation in diesel prices could mean additional expenses.

While the record gasoline and diesel prices reached in June are slowly beginning to decline, the current average diesel price in South Dakota is still up nearly 50% from a year ago.

Brown County farmer Craig Schaunaman says he uses diesel the most during harvest season.

“Harvest is probably our biggest fuel demand for us. When you run three or four tractor trailers, the combine and the grain cart, we can burn the fuel. It’s just one of those necessary evils that you have to buy,” Schaunaman said.

Inflation also creates more costs for Schaunaman in other areas.

“It not only affects what we do, but also what we contribute. Everything we get here, now you get fuel supplements and different things like that. So the impact goes beyond what we consume, it’s also what we brought to the farm,” Schaunaman said.

The price of raw materials, such as corn, has also increased in part due to demand resulting from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“Commodity prices have remained high this year, and I think there are a lot of things that led to that. There is a demand there. I think the war created some of that demand or the lack of certainty of where people are going to get their products around the world,” Schaunaman said.

Schaunaman says he hopes the profits from the harvest will be enough to cover what he will have to spend on diesel.

“Are commodity prices going to compensate? We hope so, but you never know until the end and see what kind of harvest you really get,” Schaunaman said.

Based on current conditions, farmers in the region expect to enter the field to begin harvesting around the beginning of October.

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