The National Farmers Union has asked Congress to assist independent livestock producers struggling with higher production prices. The board also called for assistance for those less fortunate to confront rising food costs and high home heating costs this coming winter.

"National Farmers Union is committed to enhancing the economic well-being of all independent family farmers and those less fortunate who are experiencing rising food costs as a result of the skyrocketing price of energy. We are prepared to work with Congress in finding solutions to the challenges brought forth by skyrocketing energy costs," the board of directors said.

Recognizing limited budget resources and congressional pay-go rules, the board said assistance could be provided by offsetting or reducing previously approved tax incentives to large oil and gas entities that are posting record profits.

"Energy has a far greater impact on food costs than commodity prices. Agriculture is very energy-intensive and because farmers do not set their own price, they have no way of passing on the increased energy expenses needed to produce a crop,” according to Tom Buis, NFU president.

The board recognized the strain high grocery prices are placing on consumers, yet pointed out that according to the USDA, farmers receive less than 20 cents for every dollar Americans spend on food; the other 80 cents occurs after it leaves the farm and before the product arrives on the shelf.

"Until we get energy prices under control, consumers will not experience food price relief," Buis said.

Source: National Farmers Union