The South Carolina General Assembly announced a concurrent resolution in support of the state’s farmers today during a press conference held in the State House. Senator Wes Climer, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, and Representative Davey Hiott, Chairman, House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee presented the Resolution.
South Carolina Farm Bureau President Harry Ott, Senator Climer, Representative Hiott and South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers brought remarks calling for immediate action from Congress.
“Fertilizer prices are the highest they have ever been,” said President Ott. “These rising supply costs are slowing down the momentum farmers were starting to build through higher commodity prices and increased demand for their products.”
Fertilizer is essential to crop production accounting for 15% of total cash input costs. Influenced by a multitude of factors, costs of fertilizer have skyrocketed more than 200% in some areas. This cost increase is a financial burden on South Carolina farmers and could devastate the rural economy.
Quote from Senator Wes Climer:
“Farmers’ input costs are escalating much more rapidly than the value of the goods they produce. Consumers are getting squeezed at the grocery store and farmers are getting squeezed out of business. The ability to feed our country is an important national security asset. Food security is a national security issue. As our farms are in peril, so is our national security. We call on Congress to act to address the supply chain issues that are driving up the costs of inputs to farms and costs of groceries to consumers.”
Quote from Representative Davey Hiott:
“We’re calling on Congress and President Biden to step up to the plate to give our farmers what they need so they can provide for the people of South Carolina, and many other states. Agriculture is the number one industry in South Carolina and we need to do all we can do to protect that industry and to continue to strengthen it.”
Quote from Commissioner Hugh Weathers:
“American consumers have access to food at the lowest prices on the planet. That privilege brings with it an obligation of our leadership in Washington D.C. to enact policy that ensures farmers can continue to produce food and fiber at such affordable prices.”
The South Carolina General Assembly is united in calling for urgent action from Congress to address this immediate and pressing issue. The resolution acknowledges the importance of agriculture, the State’s leading industry, and implores Congress “to act swiftly to address rising agriculture production costs to protect South Carolina farms and the rural economy.”
“On behalf of the farmers of the Palmetto State, I want to say ‘thank you’ for stepping up again and supporting agriculture,” President Ott said. “You recognize the importance of agriculture to our state’s economy and to our rural communities and for that we are grateful.”