Central Coast farmers are feeling the pain of record-high gas prices which have soared well above $6 per gallon in San Luis Obispo County.
One major issue is that farmers and ranchers don't have the option to easily switch to electric vehicles.
Irrigation can be run with electricity but tractors, pickup trucks and semis need diesel.
The director of the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau says gas prices affect nearly everything from labor to seed input.
"There's a bit of concern about how high these prices will go. We can't avoid a lot of these costs. We've got to bring workers in, we have to have those transportation costs to move our product out," said Brent Burchett, San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau Director. "So it's not like we can stay home and ride this out. These are costs that we're gonna have to incur. We know we're gonna have to do more with less, this country still needs food and I think our farmers will rise to the occasion."
Burchett adds that Central Coast farmers do have one advantage. There is a strong local demand for farmers' markets in nearly every community.
However, there are long-range exports that put farmers at a disadvantage.
The San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau says that rising gas prices and drought conditions are proving to be a one-two punch for farmers. They hope that these high prices are a short-term problem and not something they'll be dealing with months from now.