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Weather & fuel costs on the minds of Michigan farmers

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(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
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Instead of snow, Michigan farmers would rather see something like this in thier fields

It’s planting time for many Michigan farmers.  In addition to the weather, farmers are closely watching fuel prices this Spring.   

The price of fuel affects practically every aspect of farming in Michigan, from the cost of the diesel in the tractor to the price of the fertilizer on the fields.  Bob Boehm is the director of the commodities department for the Michigan Farm Bureau. He says fuel costs are between 7% to 15% of the average Michigan farm’s budget, but may be higher this year.  

“Certainly costs that go up like that unless you can recoup that on the other end it cuts into your profit. And that’s what's happening.”

Boehm says farmers have little choice but accept higher fuel costs.  He says unless they have a crop to sell, they won’t have a paycheck. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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