UPSON COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL) – Wes Smith is a retired Upson County Agent and has been a farmer for 40 years. He recently spoke with News 3 about the rising prices of different products that are affecting his business and how he has been handling it.
Smith has a 110 acre farm that he grows produce, corn, feed grains, oats and barley. He also grows cattle that he sells to commercial producers as well as freezer beef. He works year-round between calving in the winter and growing products to sell in the summer.
He has been facing many challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the products he uses to keep his business going have increased in the last year due to the inflation the country is experiencing.
“Last year it cost us $106/acre for fertilizer for the corn, this year it’s going to be about $225/acre. Prices probably won’t keep up with what the inflation is doing,” said Smith.
According to Smith, corn bushels have increased by nearly 38% in the last year and the herbicide he uses for weeds has increased over 120% just in the last year. These are just two of the many products that Smith uses that have seen a major increase in the last year.
He said although prices are rising quickly for many of the products that he uses, he cannot substitute them for cheaper options. There are certain chemistries that need to be maintained in order to ensure the growth of the products on the farm.
According to Smith, a very small percentage of the money spent at the grocery store is actually going to farmers, most of the proceeds go to the processing manufacturers.
He said he is hoping for timely rain periods so he can make profit off of the corn in accordance with his yearly averages. Corn is the second biggest product that brings in the most profit following cattle for Smith.
“We’re handling a lot more money this year now, whether we make it depends on what kind of weather we have. Right now we’re starting to get into a drought so that’s the other thing, we lay depending on weather and weather plays a big key in what we’ll be able to make,” said Smith.