High fuel prices impact local farmers

High fuel prices impact local farm business

NEWPORT - Despite a good crop year, local farmers are struggling with high gas prices.

In North Carolina, the average gas price dropped 10-cents a gallon in the past month. Prices went from an average to $3.80 to a current average of $3.70.

But the price at the pump is still painful for local farmers.

"From getting the ground ready to plant, to getting the harvest ready - it all requires some type of fuel to get the product to the market," owner of Garner's Farm in Newport, Clayton Garner, said.

Garner makes several trips to different markets in the area to sell his produce. With the rising cost of fuel, Garner said the extra money spent on gas often ends up trickling down to the price tag on his goods.

"If you've got to go to the Raleigh market, then you've got to factor how much gas it takes you to get there and back and how that's going to affect your price."

Garner hasn't had to raise any of the farm's food prices so far, but said it is possible next year if gas prices don't stabilize.

There are some ways the farm is able to cut back on fuel use. For one, Garner's using chemicals to spray his crops, rather than plowing the fields with large farming equipment, which often use diesel fuel.

"For us, it's just part of what we have to do," he said.

AAA predicts gas prices will continue to fall in the next few months.

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