Record-high inflation and high fuel and fertilizer prices have put the U.S. en route to a food shortage, National Black Farmers Association president John Boyd Jr. warned.
While the Biden administration sends aid to African countries, Ukraine and other nations, “we also have to take care of those at home,” Boyd told “Fox & Friends First” during the Wednesday episode of the show.
“We continue to help other parts of the world, but we haven’t taken care of American farmers,” Boyd said. “We have to do better at taking care of America’s farmers and taking care of those American people first.
“The Biden administration isn’t moving and acting swiftly enough to address the farm crisis,” he added.
“You have the high cost of fuel, the high cost of fertilizer and lime and all of these upfront costs for America’s farmers, and we haven’t done anything … to fix that.”
Boyd said he paid less than $400 per ton for fertilizer just a year ago. In 2022, Boyd is paying $1,100 per ton.
According to an April report from Barron’s, the Russo-Ukrainian war nearly doubled prices for fertilizers. The price hike made its way to food prices as well, especially the price of corn.
“The combination of sanctions, shipping firms avoiding the Black Sea region … and traders shunning Russian supplies has created significant uncertainty for farmers regarding their ability to secure adequate fertilizer supply,” said Jeremy Thurm and John Kuhn of Aegon Asset Management, according to Barron’s.
Another challenge Boyd faces is the high price of diesel fuel, which he said costs him around $6 per gallon.
Although diesel prices have fallen in recent weeks, the national average remains high at $5.497 per gallon, compared to $3.273 a year ago, according to AAA.
Boyd warned that if the Biden administration does not do enough to address the challenges facing American farmers, the nation is “heading for a food shortage.”
“We’re going to see empty food shelves in the coming months,” he said.
Boyd said that the Biden administration “hasn’t put things in place to help us.”
“The administration isn’t talking enough about the plight of what’s going on with America’s farmers,” he said. “We’re losing farmers every year that we don’t take action.”
“High cost of food — that’s going to affect every American that walks into the supermarket. … We have to find a way to invest in infrastructure for farmers and put farmers first and put more small-scale farmers back into business,” Boyd said.