Rising gas prices affecting more than drivers

News 12 First at Five / Monday, Feb. 18, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The average price of gas in this area is $3.56. That's up 15 cents from just last week, and we're probably not going to see it come down any time soon.

"It just seems like there's no end in sight. It keeps going up," said Kyle Flanagan of Scotts Lawn Service.

The rising gas prices are a painful and expensive reality for the thousands of drivers out on the road every day. The worst part? These are not penny increases.

The Raceway on Washington Road in Augusta started the day at $3.45 a gallon, but by 7 o'clock in the morning, that price changed 14 cents to $3.59. At 4 p.m., that price changed again.

"That's gonna be rough. I have to put gas in my car just about every day," taxi driver Bryan Wilson said.

Drivers aren't the only ones feeling the pain at the pump. Flanagan says that while gas in their trucks in an obvious cost, what you might not realize is that fuel prices also affect the cost of their fertilizer.

"Needless to say, we've got 10 or so trucks out on the road every day, but also everything we do is petroleum based. All of our fertilizers, all the chemicals we use," he said.

So, as fuel prices increase, so does each truckload of fertilizer.

"It's one thing when you see a difference of $3 a bag, but when you're buying it by the truckload $3 and $3 and $3 adds up to be tens of thousands," Flanagan explained.

Last year, they saw an 18 percent increase in fertilizer costs, a record high they are afraid they'll reach, and maybe even exceed, this year.

"Fuel and fertilizer are the majority of our budget. Last year was over $70,000 dollars, bottom line," Flanagan said.

AAA expects prices to keep increasing the next two months, probably peaking in April.

While they don't expect us to reach last year's high of $3.74, we'll get pretty close.

"Everybody's feeling it. Everybody feels it in their pocket at the end of the week," Flanagan said.

As for the higher prices right now, AAA says the price of crude oil is up, refineries are getting ready to switch to their summer blend of gasoline, which cuts down on output. And we're getting positive economic news in the U.S. and overseas, which historically causes prices to go up.

You can check the local prices on our website. Click here to view the News 12 Gas Gauge page.

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