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Idaho Farm Bureau discusses increase in farming costs

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - For our farmers here in Idaho, the cost to due business is not what it used to be. 

"I think the state of agriculture in Idaho right now is similar to a lot of other businesses right now," Director of Information Joel Benson. "Costs are up, but many reasons why they are drop is just due to the input costs."

According to the Idaho Farm Bureau, overall production costs for Idaho potato growers rose by 15 to 18% last year.

They report that farm input costs, such as fertilizer, are double what they were last year and other inputs such as insecticides and herbicides are up between 5 to 50%.

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine is also having a major impact, with both countries being major suppliers of wheat and fertilizer.

Benson says despite this, farmers are keeping a positive attitude. 

"Farmers are always optimistic," Benson said. "That's why they're in the industry that they're in. You put in your inputs and you grow something and then you have to wait for the results to come."

The farmers are also concerned of a potential second consecutive year of severe drought conditions.

"Some of those spring storms did help with not needing the water as early in the year," Benson said. "But we're still in a state where we're going to need a big winter coming up eventually to be able to refill the reservoirs."

But the demand for business has never been higher with Idaho Farm GDP growing by more than 200% within the last 20 years.

"I think right now they're busy," Benson said. "That's the key word. If anybody asks how people are doing in farming, they're busy. They're out there making sure that things grow even in the heat of July."

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8.


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