California farmer worries about production amid inflation and drought

A farmer in Colusa, Calif., worried on Friday that he could produce enough tomatoes for hungry consumers.

It’s going to be a tough year for Mitchell Yerxa of River Vista Farms, Yerxa explained in an interview with fox and friends.

The River Vista Farms website says its crops also include foods such as almonds, corn, rice, watermelons and wheat.

But inflation, combined with drought which has also caused prices to rise, could lead to a shortage of tomatoes and tomato products, according to the Fox report.

Two small children share fries with ketchup outdoors. (Jodie Griggs/Getty)

Americans grappled with higher food prices last month, even though the Biden White House claimed inflation was at zero throughout, Breitbart News reported Aug. 11.

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index showed on Thursday that consumer food prices charged by U.S. producers rose 2% in July from the previous month. Compared to a year ago, consumer food prices are up 15.8%, the highest year-over-year inflation rate since 1974,” the outlet said.

Meanwhile, water is the most important element when it comes to growing tomatoes, and “if you don’t have enough of it, you can’t get the harvest you need,” he said. Yerxa said of the drought on the west coast.

In April, severe water restrictions were put in place in Southern California as the state suffered a third year of drought, Breitbart News reported.

“The Democratic-run state has not built new water infrastructure since the last severe drought, which ended in 2017,” the outlet said.

Yerxa State produces 96% of the tomatoes consumed by the country’s citizens and a quarter of those consumed in the world. He said there were only 232 family farms producing tomatoes for this entire population.

Yerxa continued:

If you double the cost of fertilizers, you increase the cost of all chemicals [needed for production] by more than 30%, you increase the cost of our labor, you double the cost of overtime – each of these things – and then you take away the availability of water, it will be very difficult for these family farms to continue to keep moving forward year after year.

Yerxa also told Fox that starting in January, “Every cost that we’ve seen across the board has started to climb tremendously.”


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