Essex County farmers facing pressures beyond the weather

AM800-News-Tractor-Harvest-Road

Farmers across Essex County are hoping for some warm, sunny days ahead this week so they can begin planting this year's crop.

But the weather is just one factor farmers need to worry about this spring.

Leo Guilbeault, President of the Essex County Federation of Agriculture, says so far it's been cool and wet, so planting hasn't begun yet for corn and soybeans.

Guilbeault, who farms 2,000 acres of land between Belle River and St.Joachim, says they need a nice 10-day stretch of nice weather before they can get out in the fields and get some work done.

On top of the weather, he says prices are also going up.

"You look at the price of fertilizer, it's tripled since last year. Herbicides, some of they have doubled. Certainly the cost of diesel, farm diesel last year was at 97-cents, today we're at $2.40. So it's more than doubled," he says. I mean.

Guilbeault says the increase in expenses certianly makes you watch money a little bit closer.

"Although our commodity prices for corn, beans and wheat is up also, but it hasn't tripled compared to the cost of our expenses," he says. "We still have to watch, like any otjher year in farming, you have to balance your budget and make sure at the end of the day you can make a little money. If we don't we're not in this business for long."

Guilbeault says the war in Ukraine is also causing issues as a lot of their supplies are moved internationally.

"Certianly a big chuck of it comes from Ukraine and Russia, as far as our nitrogen fertilizers. It's put a strain on the system and the supply, whidch of course when you have a short supply, prices go up," he says.

Guilbeault adds even getting parts for equipment has been a struggled due to supply chain issues.