Fuel Surcharge Cuts Into Farm Profits

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(Modesto, CA)
Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Not only are farmers paying more for diesel fuel to operate their tractors and implements, they're paying hefty surcharges to trucking companies that deliver raw materials and transport produce to market.

Greg Massa is the spokesman for Rice Producers of California.  
"Fertilizers and things that we have brought in have fuel surcharges tacked on and then when we haul our crop out we get hit again with fuel surcharges." 

Larry Lengner says his northern California trucking company has had to steadily increase the amount of a surcharge over the past year because of escalating fuel costs. 
"We started with a fuel surcharge of seven percent a year ago. And it's now twelve percent."

Consumers probably won't feel the pinch of higher surcharges. The Farm Bureau says farmers will have to absorb the added costs.

Truckers say the amount of surcharges might dip a bit now that crude oil prices have dropped. 

(Photo courtesy: California Farm Bureau Federation)