Rising gas prices hurts farmers

April 24, 2008 5:53:28 PM PDT
With gas prices inching closer to $4 a gallon, farmers are becoming increasingly concerned with how they are going to make a living.

Those who commute to downtown Raleigh to sell their produce at the State Farmers Market are especially worried.

Vendors say they are stuck between a rock and a hard place --they absorb their price increases and barely break even at the end of the day or they increase their prices and run the risk of losing customers.

"Last year when we would fill our vans to bring our produce to the market it was like $65 to $70, now its $100 to fill it up," said Kim Tart, a vendor from Dunn.

And then there is the diesel for tractors, and other farming equipment.

"Even all of our fertilizer or chemicals that we have to use to purchase all of that stuff have gone up because of the gas prices," Tart said.

It's a ripple effect and eventually shoppers are going to feel it in the price they pay for produce.

"We're trying to hold the prices as low as we possibly can, but it's coming the prices are coming," Vendor, Jeff Allen said.

He is barely breaking even at the end of the day, but fears jacking up prices will drive customers away.

"If we have to get the same price as the grocery store than their going to say why should we come out here when we can one stop shop," Allen said.

"Strawberries aren't that much cheaper here than the grocery so even that makes me think if ill come here often," Shopper, Kristen Haywood said.


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