Montana Farm Bureau President Cyndi Johnson testified virtually Friday during the “Skyrocketing Energy Costs Are Hurting Americans” forum hosted by the Committee on Natural Resources Republicans and the Committee on Energy and Commerce Republicans to examine the Biden administration’s energy policies and their impact on American families and businesses.
In her testimony Johnson shared about fuel increases on her farm. “This year, drought and high input costs make my future look pretty bleak,” said Johnson. “Farming is a fuel-intensive endeavor. We rely heavily on diesel, gas and natural gas to produce grain. In 2020, I purchased 9,000 gallons of field or dyed diesel for a total of $16,000. In 2021, I purchased 6,000 gallons for $17,160. This year, about the time of the Ukrainian invasion by Russia, I bought 3,000 gallons of field diesel for $10,420. My next 3,000 gallons will cost $17,162 for a total of $27,580. Gasoline and diesel costs for the balance of equipment and farm autos that can’t use dyed diesel were $15,000 in 2020, $17,600 in 2021 and are at $12,000 half-way through this production year.”
The Conrad wheat farmer told the committee, “The high cost of fuel and fertilizer not only impacts my ability to farm and produce safe and abundant food, it impacts the ability of the truck driver to bring that food to market or the manufacturer to process it, package it and ship it to grocery stores around the country. Americans are accustomed to low-cost food, as it should be because we can produce it, but that won’t be the case this year, and in the future, simply because the fuel costs at every step have increased exponentially. High fuel costs impact food security, cost and availability.”
Johnson appreciated having the opportunity. “What an awesome experience to be able to testify for the Republican forum on the Skyrocketing Energy Costs and the impacts on Americans. Our Senior Governmental Affairs Director Nicole Rolf alerted me to the opportunity earlier this week and I jumped at the chance to talk about the impact of fuel prices on Montana agriculture.”
She added, “I’m encouraged the minority is taking the initiative to step up pressure on the administration to pay attention to what is going on in the real world and how the policy decisions being made currently are detrimental to the industries that feed, clothe and house Americans.”