By ROBERT S. MERRILL
Rapidly rising fuel prices impact everyone who drives; and farmers across southeastern Idaho are beginning to feel the pinch in their pocketbooks, just like everyone else.
Escalating petroleum costs catch the farmer, especially in smaller communities across the state and intermountain region, in a real cost-price squeeze. And as these costs go up, commodity prices will eventually go down.
Unfortunately price increases associated with production costs cut across the entire agricultural sector. And the price-cost squeeze could also negatively impact all businesses.
As farmers get hit twice — immediately paying higher fuel costs and then receiving lower prices for their crops — they will hesitate to buy new equipment or farm machinery. They will not go to retail stores as much and scrimp wherever possible to get by.
Smaller communities, like Preston, Rexburg, Montpelier, and Grace are much more dependent on and tied to the agricultural sector, according to Dr. Paul Patterson, an agricultural economist in Idaho Falls with the University of Idaho.
This story is sponsored by Pheasants Forever.
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