Agricultural activity is affected by soaring gasoline and diesel prices.
The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Connecticut is $4.70, the highest average on record, according to AAA. Rising gas prices are impacting local florists and farms.
The domino effect of rising prices for heating oil, gasoline and even fertilizers is felt for Lisa Gilbert. She owns Gilbert Farms at Rocky Hill.
Agriculture is in Gilbert’s blood, as his family has been in agriculture for 250 years. Sweet corn and tomatoes are among his biggest crops and require a lot of labor and machinery like tractors.
Gilbert owns two tractors and tells NBC Connecticut that both need $100 to fill up and mentions that she fills them up at least twice a week.
“Certainly up 50% now with field work with our tractors and paying $6.29 a gallon for diesel fuel,” Gilbert said. “It’s a bit more expensive to operate.”
The financial difficulties don’t just stop at gas, they affect the prices of supplies.
“The supply chain has affected us, making sure the things that are available are ordered,” Gilbert said.
Difficulty accessing and paying for basic necessities is a similar problem for owner Stephen Stanley Flower Power Farm in east Windsor.
“My floor costs skyrocketed and the plastic pots, my hanging baskets were 65 cents, I now think they’re about $1.20,” Stanley said.
Stanley mentions that the highest cost right now is fuel. He had to make tough decisions like raising the prices of some of his flowers.
“We can only raise the price so much before people buy our products,” Stanley said. “The market is very volatile, just like a lot of other things when it goes up.”
Gilbert made the difficult decision to raise his prices to keep his operation afloat. It’s a decision she hopes won’t turn customers away.
“It makes it very stressful, you wonder if people are going to withstand the rising costs,” Gilbert said. “People are also affected by this, they have to feed their families and fill their gas tanks too.”
Stanley mentions that he usually holds flash sales to make sure his customers get more for their money.