It is too costly to be a farmer in Washington state?

There is no denying that farming is challenging.

However, numerous obstacles in Washington state are making it too costly to farm. A state lawmaker says that one reason is a new cage-free egg policy.

According to state Senator and farmer, Ron Muzzall, “On the first of January this year, you could not produce eggs as they had been done traditionally. You had to go to a cage-free facility. Well, that increases the cost of production, which now they’re passing on to the consumer.”

The Senator also highlighted the latest gas tax as a cause for farmer concern. However, he said that the biggest burden right now may be paying ag workers overtime.

“The reality of that is, is that we’re seasonal. Whether we’re putting up feed, whether we’re harvesting grain, whether harvesting fruit— there’s a short season to get that done and we work a lot of hours in that time period. Well, our employees did too, and they benefited because they were able to get those hours then and they’d have less in the winter time,” Sen. Muzall explains.

He says that he is not sure farmers in his state will survive, and once they are gone, they are gone.