As we look back on year one of Joe Biden’s America, communities across the country are feeling the pangs of skyrocketing inflation, rising expenses, and dismal supply chain disruptions, largely due to reckless policies and bloated, unchecked spending in Washington.
Farm country has been hit particularly hard by the President’s unilateral actions in what can only be described as a war on agriculture.
Soaring price of farm operations — According to a report from USDA, farm production expenses in 2021 hit a staggering $383 billion, just shy of an all-time high and an increase of $30 billion from last year. Propane, farm diesel, and natural gas recently rose to 49, 82, and 133 percent respectively. Additionally, the price for phosphate fertilizers has nearly doubled, and nitrogen-based fertilizers have reached record highs.
Regulatory overreach causing confusion — The 2020 Navigable Waters Protection rule replaced the disastrous Obama-era WOTUS rule and finally brought clarity and certainty to farmers and ranchers. However, a federal judge in Arizona vacated the 2020 rule on August 30, 2021, reverting to regulatory confusion for rural America. It will take years to rewrite the 2020 regulation, and that’s if it survives court challenges. The Administration’s intent to revise this important regulation will regress from the clarity provided by the Navigable Waters Protection Rule and will reimpose a vastly overreaching interpretation of Federal jurisdiction over waters around the nation.
Bottlenecks at ports — Certain vessel-operating common carriers (VOCCs) are declining to ship U.S. agricultural commodity exports from our ports, making it more difficult to reach foreign markets and further devastating the agriculture sector. Food security is national security, and a robust and resilient food supply chain depends on strong production and reciprocal trade between the U.S. and its partners.
Labor shortages leaving producers high and dry — Access to a reliable, year-round, legal workforce is often considered a seemingly endless challenge for farmers, ranchers, and producers. These existing hurdles have been compounded by supply chain strains, extended unemployment benefits that have created cradle-to-grave dependency, and one-size-fits-all vaccine mandates. This issue certainly will not subside if Democrats continue to pay people to stay on the sidelines.
Looming energy crisis — Since taking office, Biden has enacted an anti-energy agenda, leading to skyrocketing energy costs. The national average for a gallon of gas reached $3.28 per gallon in December 2021, with a total rise of 49.6% for the year. This is the most Americans have paid at the pump since the Obama-Biden Administration. From trucks to tractors, plows to combines, farmers are being forced to pay more at the pump to operate this machinery—largely in part to President Biden’s energy crisis.