Pricing Farmers Out Pt 1

Pricing Farmers Out Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson. Farmers in Washington state are being forced out of business by the growing number of challenges thrown at them.

10th District Senator, and farmer, Ron Muzzall says one of those challenges is our new cage-free policy enacted for egg producers …

MUZZALL … “But on the first of January this year you could not produce eggs as they had been done traditionally. You had to go to a cage-free facility. Well, that increases the cost of production which now they’re passing on to the consumer.”

Another, Muzzall says is our latest gas tax …

MUZZALL … “The Carbon Commitment Act, we know, cost just shy of .50 cents a gallon for fuel. It wasn’t supposed to impact the natural resources industry. So timber, fishing, agriculture weren’t supposed to see that increased cost, but it did. And the Department of Ecology couldn’t figure out how to make it happen.”

And maybe the biggest burden, Muzzall says is having to pay our ag workers overtime …

MUZZALL … “The reality of that is that we’re seasonal. Whether we’re putting up feed, whether we’re harvesting grain, whether we’re harvesting fruit, there’s a short season to get that done and we work a lot of hours in that time period. Well, our employees did too, and they benefited because they were able to get those hours in and they’d have less in the wintertime.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on why we’re losing our farmers and what that means for our future.

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