ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — The spring growing season is just beginning in Orangeburg County, and many farmers are saying it's looking uncertain.
“This year, there’s a lot of uncertainty for the agricultural community," said state representative and farmer Russell Ott. "Uncertainty is pretty much the worst thing that you can have."
Ott says he's been farming his entire life. He owns a 2,200 acre farm in Calhoun County where he farms corn and cotton.
Currently, Ott says he's carrying a common burden among other farmers by having to decide how much of each crop he's going to plant.
“The cost of fertilizer right now has more than doubled, so if you’re gonna plant corn, the cost per acre is gonna be as high as it’s ever been," said Ott.
He says high fuel costs and supply chain issues are also affecting these choices. According to Ott, one of the hardest things to come by is fertilizer.
“We are starting to notice that the availability of fertilizer is not what it has been in years past," he said.
As people are trying to navigate a national surge in fuel costs, Ott says farmers are dealing with the added challenge of price increases for fertilizer.
Ott says overall the process to get food from the farm to grocery store shelves hasn't been easy.
“There’s a lot of behind the scenes that goes into getting it to people for them to be able to have and use and enjoy," he said.