Fueled by oil, agriculture sector welcomes current and expected lower gas, diesel prices

EnergyAssociated Press

The plunge in fuel prices has been a relief across the agricultural sector, easing the pain of low grain prices for growers and boosting profits for cattle ranchers.

Livestock producers in the Midwest and vegetable growers in the Sun Belt alike are already reaping benefits.

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Average diesel prices for 2015 are forecast to be about $1 lower than last year. That may prompt farmers this spring to plant more energy-intensive crops like corn or rice as the cost to irrigate and cultivate drops.

Consumers shouldn't expect to see lower prices at the supermarket, because transportation costs constitute only a small slice of those prices.