OMAHA, Ill. (WEHT) – Planting season is now in full swing, but as the seeds go in the ground, farmers are seeing more money come out of their pockets. That includes Kelly and Son farm in Omaha, Illinois. Owner Jim Doyle says his operation is mainly for his family and friends within Gallatin County, however he has still seen prices rise for various agriculture products.
“I try to keep it going all year round,” explains Doyle, “to supply some food to the family and save a little money.”
Saving money, however, has become increasingly difficult. In order to cut costs, Doyle uses his own irrigation system courtesy of a water spring on his property. He also uses largely chemical-free substitutes of herbicides and fertilizers. These measures have helped cut costs in the garden, however the farm is shelling out more green in the greenhouse.
“Used to, you could do a plant and it would cost you approximately 23 cents,” says greenhouse manager Ginger Cannon. “It’s 77 cents now to sell a plant.”
Many aspects of Kelly and Son’s greenhouse, according to Cannon, have tripled in cost just within the last year. That includes plastic trays holding various plants on the farm. To help offset rising costs, Cannon has been forced to take a unique business approach.
“When people come up to buy plants, they ask if they can have a tray,” explains Cannon. “And I say yes, but you have to leave me a $5 deposit. If you bring me the tray back, I’ll give you the $5 back, but if not, at least I’ve offset my costs that way.”
Despite rising costs, Kelly and Son will continue operating. They want to continue helping their family as well as the local community. Doyle says he also intends for his grandson to take over the farm when he grows up.