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Weather impacting farmers already facing rising costs, supply chain issues

Recent cold and rainy weather is just another problem for Western Washington farmers, adding to inflation and supply chain issues.

SEATTLE — The life of a farmer is hard work. 

For farmer Matt Steinman it's worth it to work on land that has been in his family for 5 generations, Foothills Farm. 

"We try and feed you the rainbow. The more color on your plate, the healthier your food is," Steinman said.

Spring is always a rush to get everything planted in time, and this spring there's even more challenges. 

"Sometimes you can't even get it. You'll order it and it doesn't come in. Everything's more expensive too. From shipping to just the supply and demand curve, there's isn't a whole lot of supply," Steinman said.

From seeds to even rubber bands, these items have gone up between 20-25%. Steinman said other costs are significantly higher as well.

 "Last year right now Red Die, which is diesel for tractors, was $1.89 a gallon if we're filling up our 500 gallon tank. Right now it's 4.89," Steinman said.

Add in the unusual weather, and the planting season is about a month late. It's not just Matt and his marketplace that's filling the pinch. 

"We're used to adversities, weather wise, this is one of the worst springs I ever encountered," said Eiko Vojkovich, the owner of Skagit River Ranch.

Eiko has owner the ranch for 25 years. She said her cattle normally pop in May. Popping is when cattle start gaining weight, but with the cold weather, Eiko's aren't. 

Inflation and supply chain issues also are causing problems. 

"This cost is just killing us and how much can you raise prices to try and recover," said Eiko. 

Both Steinman and Eiko have loyal customers who they say understand and are willing to pay.  

"But still, how much can they afford?" said Eiko.

Even with the rainy start, they still show up, and hope consumers will as well.

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