Harvest expensive with record diesel prices

Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 10:09 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

After 50 years of farming, Don Scheiber said his crop this year is especially productive, but high diesel fuel prices have cut his earnings short. Scheiber said to run his diesel-fueled combine to cut down his ample crop is so expensive, he's unable to turn much of a profit.

"Things seemed to be going a little better now, until fuel prices kind of got out of whack," Scheiber said.

With a worldwide shortage of food, grain is in high demand and Oklahoma farmers were looking at a bumper crop, a larger than average yield, for the first time in two years. But with diesel prices also at a record-high, wheat farmers are having a hard time picking up any profits from their harvests, Scheiber said. Some farmers are turning to custom-combining to help turn a profit.

Custom-combining is when farmers contract out their equipment to other farmers as a means to help cut the harvesting costs. But Scheiber said some of the smaller farms still can't afford the costs.

"They can't afford to hire somebody like us," Scheiber said. "At the same time, they can't afford not to."

Scheiber said farmers will struggle, but they will survive.