High herbicide prices push farmers to make tough choices

Published: Jun. 5, 2022 at 9:48 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 2, 2022 at 9:27 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Price increases are making farmers nervous.

Traves Merrick, a cattle farmer in Miller, said these are challenging times.

”I take a lot of pride in it,” said Merrick. “It is absolutely scary. I was preparing myself for this moment. I don’t think we ever really are prepared for something like this.”

Hardships and adapting are what farmers are known for, but Merrick, you have to look bright.

“You’ve just got to look at the positives and hope that we’re doing things right,” said Merrick.

But Merrick said none of this compares to his grandfather’s recent loss, whom he learned so much.

“He’s built this thing from the ground up, and here I am kind of responsible for keeping it going with possibly the toughest times I have faced by far,” said Merrick.

Merrick’s livelihood includes 1,000 acres of land and around 400 head of cattle. He said this was the toughest year he has faced, and prices keep going up.

“Right now, the fuel cost and the price of the herbicides have kind of kept us from doing a whole lot,” said Merrick.

Merrick said invasive weeds hurt pastures and farming overall.

“Invasive weeds do soak up a lot of nutrients,” said Merrick. “Prices have kept us from spraying as many pastures.”

Merrick said the herbicide kills the invasive plants, and he hasn’t sprayed nearly as much as he’d like because of prices and the weather. He noted fewer weeds give his cattle better grazing and chances for quality crops.

But Miller has the farming pedigree, and he said you just have to block out the bad circumstances.

“I’m just going to do what we’ve done for years and hope we can find our way through this and come out stronger on the other end,” said Merrick.

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