A farmer in Colusa, California, voiced concern on Friday about being able to produce enough tomatoes for hungry consumers.
It is shaping up to be a difficult year for Mitchell Yerxa of River Vista Farms, Yerxa explained during an interview with Fox & Friends.
River Vista Farms’ website says its crops also include foods such as almonds, corn, rice, watermelons, and wheat.
But inflation, combined with drought that also caused prices to rise, could result in a shortage of tomatoes and tomato products, the Fox report said.
Americans grappled with higher food prices last month even though the Biden White House claimed inflation ran at zero throughout that time, Breitbart News reported August 11.
“The Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index showed on Thursday that consumer food prices charged by U.S. producers rose two percent in July compared with the previous month. Compared with a year ago, consumer food prices are up 15.8 percent, the highest year-to-year rate of inflation since 1974,” the outlet said.
Meanwhile, water is the most important element when it comes to producing tomatoes, and “if you don’t have enough of it, you can’t get the crop you need,” Yerxa said of the drought plaguing the West Coast.
In April, severe water restrictions were implemented in Southern California as the state endured a third year of drought, Breitbart News reported.
“The Democrat-run state has not built new water infrastructure since the last severe drought, which ended in 2017,” the outlet said.
Yerxa’s state grows 96 percent of the tomatoes consumed by citizens across the nation and a quarter of those consumed around the globe. He said there are only 232 family farms that produce tomatoes for that whole population.
If you double the cost of fertilizer, you increase the cost of all the chemicals [needed for production] by more than 30%, you increase the cost of our labor, you double down on overtime costs — every single one of those things — and then you take away water availability, it’s going to make it very hard on those family farms to continue to keep pushing forward year after year.
Yerxa also told Fox that beginning in January, “Every single cost we saw across the board just started jumping tremendously.”