EDEN, N.Y. (WIVB) – From the roads to the fields on the farm, fuel prices are rising beyond record levels regionally and statewide. All farmers can do is deal with it.
“We’re left to the mercy of all these things,” said Bill Zittel at Amos Zittel & Sons, a fourth generation farm in Eden.
Other costs, like labor, fertilizer, and plastic costs are also up, Zittel said. But nothing is catching attention like the rising cost of fuel right now.
“A tractor like this behind me uses about five gallons of diesel fuel an hour,” Zittel said gesturing toward one of about 18 vehicles they use on the farm. “If that tractor is running for eight hours, you’re going to use 40 gallons. You can do the math.”
Based on the regional averages in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area, it comes out to nearly $250 dollars to run that tractor for an eight hour work day. Tuesday morning, AAA was saying the average cost of diesel in the region was $6.14 a gallon. The average price of regular unleaded was $4.42.
Both are record highs.
“Companies don’t budget for that,” said Elizabeth Carey of AAA. “If they’re not prepared it’s going to hurt a lot of businesses.”
Zittle says any increase in costs has an impact on the farm.
“It gets frustrating because you’re going to work just as hard if you’re going to make anything or you’re going to lose your shirt,” he said.
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2017. See more of his work here.