Fertilizer Costs: What is Driving the Increase and How Can Growers Manage It?
Significant increases in the cost of fertilizer over the past year have caused a lot of concern and heartburn among farmers and ranchers in Nebraska. Given that fertilizer costs now account for approximately 15-20% of total cash costs for corn production in Nebraska, fertilizer prices and availability are a major concern for farmers planning for the 2022 growing season. Farmers in some areas are reporting prices more than 300% higher than last winter, and delivery times seems to be anyone’s guess.
Veteran growers may recall a similar situation in 2007-2009 when prices for nitrogen, phosphate, and potash doubled, or more, from pre-2007 levels. That price increase was driven by strong demand (domestic and global), low fertilizer inventories, and very slow adjustments in production by the U.S. fertilizer industry. Those same factors, and more, are at play this time around; and the increased uncertainty may be cause for concern.
Read this Center for Agricultural Profitability article to learn more about the factors driving fertilizer prices and recommendations for managing input costs.