Higher cost of running a farm increases farmer’s market prices

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KAIT) – Record prices are increasing the cost of running a farm, meaning it can cost you more on your next trip to the farmer’s market.

Vendors at Tuesday morning’s farmer’s market in Fayetteville told content partner KNWA that inflation is impacting them all.

Sara Pollard has always wanted to be a vendor for the farmer’s market. She has been farming produce for more than 35 years, adding it’s essential for her well-being and wallet.

“We’re retired, so it supplements that little bit of social security,” she said.

Pollard said farmers use a lot of diesel in their trucks and tractors, and even the cost of driving to and from the farmer’s market is higher since most of the vendors live 35 to 45 miles away.

KNWA also reported that smaller-scale farmers are squeezed tighter by inflation’s impact on seed, feed, and fertilizer costs since they don’t have the option to buy in bulk.

“We don’t get any deals because we’re the little guys,” Pollard said.

She told KNWA she doesn’t want to hand off the price increase to the customers, but it’s the only way for farmers like her to profit this year.

Luckily, Pollard doesn’t think it has made a difference in her sales.

She said either they haven’t noticed or they think it’s a fair trade for the quality of the product.

“You can’t get anything fresher than at the farmer’s market,” shopper Eden Moore said.

Julia Den Herder is one of the managers of Fayetteville’s Farmer’s Market, and a vendor herself.

She said although some people feel like they can’t afford the farmer’s market anymore, most in the area feel strongly about supporting their neighbors and buying locally.

“Increased grocery store prices have kind of pushed their prices closer to farmer’s market prices. So I think, in some ways, that’s pushed more customers to say, ‘I’d rather get it fresh and straight from the farmer,’” Den Herder said.

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