Are high fuel prices causing problems for farmers?

A recent survey by Creighton University indicates energy prices are responsible for slowing the economy in rural Missouri and nine other states.

Economists said farmers are among the hardest hit by energy costs.

So are Mid-Missouri farmers struggling?

KRCG's Facebook crew talked with a tractor supply store and some local farmers to find out.

A tractor supply store in Cole County said high energy prices are hurting sales.

"We have been negatively effected, especially in our lawn equipment and farm equipment. I think people are just kind of scared where the economy is going to go and they're afraid to let loose of any extra money they might have, Lauf Equipment Terrance Lepage said.

Lepage told me high gas prices have farmers suffering as well.

"They have to travel farther to markets to market their goods and to buy inputs. So higher energy is going to cost them more for every trip, Lepage said.

All the farmers I talked to Friday agreed that high fuel costs are affecting the way they farm.

"Fuel is probably amounts to about 1/3 of the input costs for farmers, including related chemicals and fertilizer. Then we also get hit on the opposite end when it comes to transporting our crops to the market, especially when your talking about transferring them to St. Louis or whatever, Full time farmer Harry Thompson said. It just adds additional costs and it cuts into your bottom line as well."

High fuel prices have economists worried as well. For the third straight month, rural economic growth has slowed in Missouri and nine other states.

The overall outlook is still calling for positive growth.

Thompson told me he hopes fuel prices come down before this year's hay season.

"Some relaxation of diesel fuel costs in the next month or two will help out a cattle farmers in particular when their bailing hay and crop farmers as well, Thompson said.

Thompson told me farmers should focus on cutting costs and maximizing efficiency to survive in this economic crisis.

So tell us what you think. Do you think Mid-Missouri farmers are struggling because of high fuel prices?

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A recent survey released by Creighton University said that rural areas in some Midwest and Plain states are having problems with their economy because of higher energy prices.

Creighton University economists fear that farmers are being hurt the worst in these bad economic times because of rising oil prices.

So are Mid-Missouri farmers struggling because of higher fuel prices?

Tonight at ten KRCG's Facebook crew talks with a tractor supply store and local farmers to find out.

Tell us what you think. Are high fuel prices causing problems for farmers?