Farmers finding other ways to make ends meet

By Donna McCollum - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - No doubt you've seen groceries go up, but it's not just stressing shoppers, but farmers as well.

About 89 percent of Texas farmers are expecting money problems, but it's not all doom and gloom.

East Texas farmers and horticulturists are finding ways to make ends meet, which was evident  at the Ag Tour in Nacogdoches County.

"We will normally get three crops," George Millard said who owns a medium-sized farm.

Millard doesn't deal with freight costs. He sells his produce locally. Strawberries are in this week. But just like the big commercial growers, Millard is seeing the cost of doing business going up.

"Fuel and fertilizer and they're still sky high," he said.

Millard plows less to help offset the $300 a month in electricity to run an irrigation system, a must for any commercial farmer.

"Mother nature is a sweet girl, but sometimes she's pretty, she doesn't cooperate to well with you," he said.

On an even smaller place the McCarty's grow over 11,000 tomato plants.

The McCarty's expense is offset by a lack of liability. A home grown product kept them in the black during a frightful tomato salmonella scare.

Operating costs are climbing, but when East Texas farmers maintain consumer confidence they won't be scared off by financial stress.