Pain at the Pump for Farmers

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As gas prices continue to skyrocket, farmers are feeling the effects too.

Newswatch 16 spoke to two farmers in Northumberland County who said they are concerned about high diesel prices.

Gary Truckenmiller owns Dry Run Dairy near Watsontown. He said the farm's busy season is right around the corner, and he is worried about the cost of off-road diesel fuel.

"We have half a dozen tractors and two skid loaders. All of them use fuel," said Gary Truckenmiller.

He added his farm equipment uses around 5,000 gallons of diesel a year. Every dollar it goes up means thousands of dollars out of his pocket.

Truckenmiller said he is not only concerned with diesel prices for farm equipment, also an issue is fuel surcharges for milk pick-up as well as feed delivery.

"Every other day they come in for a load of milk. That could increase the cost of us hauling the milk and also the price of feed that comes in to the farm," said Truckenmiller.

It's a similar story at Forman's Grain Fertilizer near Turbotville. Farmer John Forman said his farm is preparing for the busiest time of the year, and fuel prices keep going up. Forman uses on-road diesel fuel in his delivery trucks.

"You're looking at $4.25 for fuel and you're running one truck 60, 70 miles. Add that up over six trucks and a half a dozen tractors," said John Forman.

In Turbotville, diesel was selling for $4.23 a gallon. According to AAA, fuel prices aren't coming down anytime soon. In fact, they are expected to go up through May.

"Very concerned. Every time fuel goes up that much more you hope to get out of your crop. That's your bottom dollar," said Forman.

At that same station in Turbotville where diesel was $4.23 a gallon, regular unleaded gasoline was almost $3.80 a gallon. The average in central Pennsylvania is $3.73.

That's higher than the national average, which AAA said is $3.58. AAA blames the rising prices on high demand for oil, and tensions in the Persian Gulf.