energy costs

Few farmers adjust operations because of higher energy prices

Higher input costs are by far the No. 1 concern among farmers, but only a minority of them have altered their operations because of rising energy prices, according to a Purdue University poll of large-scale operators.

Think tank sees highest annual food inflation rate in 14 years

U.S. food prices will rise by at least 4.2 percent this year, propelled by high energy and commodity prices, said a University of Missouri think tank on Wednesday. The group’s director said the actual figure could be higher still.

$250 million in USDA grants to boost fertilizer output

The Agriculture Department will launch a $250-million-dollar grant program this summer to support "independent, innovative and sustainable" fertilizer production at home and to reduce reliance on imports. The USDA also said it would launch a public inquiry into concentration in the seed and agricultural input, fertilizer and retail markets.

“Fuel, it’s what’s for dinner”

From grow lights in greenhouses and massive diesel-powered farm tractors to the refrigerators in millions of American homes, the food system ranks as a major power user. "Up to a fifth of our nation’s total energy use goes into growing, transporting, processing and eventually preparing our food, but those energy inputs are often hidden," says the opening story of a series by Harvest Public Media and Inside Energy.

Lower energy costs to save farmers $5 billion this year

"Lower energy prices are expected to lead to lower total production expenses by the agricultural sector," say USDA economists, with savings of $5 billion, or 8 percent, this year and $5 billion in 2016, also an 8-percent savings.