Rising price of diesel costs Tennessee farmers

farmers diesel prices.jpeg
Posted at 6:03 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 16:24:32-04

MT. JULIET, Tenn (WTVF) — Owning and tending a farm takes patience and money, but with inflation, local farmers said it's getting more expensive just to keep the tractor on.

The increased cost of diesel fuel is making things more difficult for those in the agriculture business.

AAA Gas prices for Tennessee are averaging $5.339. This time last year it was $2.997 a gallon.

For almost 20 years later, Pamela Thompson and her husband David have farmed and grown Thompson's Farms.

Whatever the Thompsons grow, they sell at Michael's Garden Center in Mount Juliet. Their famous strawberries come in from local growers at Oak Groves Farms and Turner's and Son's in McMinnville.

But this year the cost of being a farmer is getting more pricey.

She said the electricity for her coolers jumped to $1,800. It was around $685 last year, Thompson said.

"Diesel prices are outrageous. The cost of your fertilization is doubled, and gasoline has tripled. It's just one thing after another and then you have to worry," said Pamela Thompson.

She said wrestled with a lot of concerns on whether the Thompson Farm should stay in business.

"We were just about ready to say we're not going to do it. I told David. I said, 'I'll go back into automotive and work.' He said no. Now we're going to do it, and we're gonna see how we do this year," said Thompson. "We're hoping that the people understand the process, and so far so good right now."

The Thompson's stayed for their customers, but the prices they're paying to run the farm have doubled. The cost to fill up their tractor with diesel fuel is $1,300.

Donnie Pierce owner of the Michael's Garden Center is in the same position.

"We're constantly using diesel in our skid loaders and all of our equipment and it's just expensive. And the bad thing is of course we pass it on to the consumer."

Pierce owning a landscaping and garden supply business says the cost adds up with every delivery.

"The diesel, it can run me $400, $500 a week, just for diesel."

Thompson and Pierce say they thank their customers for keeping their businesses going and with their help, hopefully, they’ll last more seasons to come.