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Mitchell Yerxa, a farmer with River Vista Farms in Colusa, California, spoke to “Fox & Friends” on Friday morning about the challenges proper now of producing enough tomatoes to fulfill customers’ wants.
“It’s going to be a tough year,” he mentioned.
Record-high inflation plus droughts are sending costs greater — and maybe could result in a nationwide shortage of tomatoes and tomato merchandise as nicely.
“The number-one thing that we say is that water is the ‘it’ thing when it comes to growing tomatoes — and if you don’t have enough of it, you can’t get the crop you need,” he added, referencing the drought on the West Coast.
“There’s not enough water this year, that’s for sure.”
Mix the lack of water with the excessive price of fertilizer — and sure, it is a large concern.
“We are going through an inability to find or source or even have water available to grow those crops or to fill those acreages.”
“California grows 96% of all tomatoes consumed in the U.S.,” mentioned Yerxa, “and a quarter of all tomatoes consumed in the world.”
He famous, “And there are only 232 family farms that grow tomatoes for that entire population.”
He additionally mentioned, “If you double the cost of fertilizer, you increase the cost of all the chemicals [needed for production] by more than 30%, you increase the cost of our labor, you double down on overtime costs — every single one of those things — and then you take away water availability, it’s going to make it very hard on those family farms to continue to keep pushing forward year after year.”
He added, “By means of completely different rules and completely different laws, we’re going by way of an incapacity to seek out or supply and even have water available to develop these crops or to fill these acreages.”
Forecasts are that crop yields won’t meet the want at present, co-host Steve Doocy famous.
Beginning in about January of this 12 months, Mitchell Yerxa famous, “Every single cost we saw across the board just started jumping tremendously.”
One of the simplest ways to know the drawback is to current the numbers clearly, he steered.
“The normal consumption in America of tomatoes is about 13 million tons,” he mentioned — however farmers this 12 months are going to supply about 10 million tons, he mentioned.
To study extra about this matter and this farmer’s state of affairs, watch the video at the prime of this text, or click here to access it.