Idaho's Owyhee Produce owner and farmer Shay Myers told Newsmax on Friday that the cost of farming has increased 34% to 35%, but consumers have seen only about an 11% increase so far and more increases are on the way.
"We figured that our overall farming cost is up 34[%] to 35%. And, to date, consumers have only seen about 11% of that. So I think that will be passed on to them sooner or later," Myers, who runs a farming company that produces onions, told "Eric Bolling The Balance." "We're going to go from 11% up to that 35%, and the consumers will feel it. But we don't have any choice within agriculture but to pass those costs along because of the fact that we work on such a narrow margin."
Myers said farmers usually have only between an 8% to 9% profit margin to work with; that the costs of necessities, like fertilizer, are increasing; and that consumers likely will see prices increase at the grocery stores in the next several months.
"No question that you haven't seen the worst of it yet," he said. "Give it another six to nine months. Contracts are resetting today; it's going to get worse."
According to Myers' LinkedIn profile, Owyhee, which Myers has run since 2005, is a third-generation farming company and one of the largest vertically integrated onion farms in the country.
In addition to onions, the farm also grows watermelons, asparagus and mint oil, according to the company's website.
Myers said that many foreign investors from places like China and the United Arab Emirates are coming in to buy up farming operations to expand their financial portfolios with a "safe haven" investment.
"Agriculture is a safe haven," he said. "It's something that appreciates in value, and there's a lot of people that want that investment in their portfolio. And because they have that cash available,and we have the willingness, as a nation, to sell our land to these folks, they're here buying up what they can get their hands on."
Myers said that U.S. security depends on controlling the nation's farmland and that potential purchasers should be carefully looked at and vetted.
"I think we should be looking at China more closely in every aspect of what we're doing, and farmland is just one of those pieces that we need to protect and to consider who the purchaser is," he said.
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