Fertilizer Frenzy: prices hit record highs and lawmakers ask for short-term relief

Fertilizer prices are now at all-time highs. The index from a consultancy, Crew, has risen 30 percent since the start of the year and is creeping towards levels we saw back in 2008.

Analysts blame Russia’s ban on fertilizer exports, which has sent prices soaring.

Farmers were already facing high costs, in part, because of sanctions on Belarus and export restrictions by China. One Illinois farmer tells the Washington Post that his fertilizer cost last year was about $500 dollars a ton. This year, it is triple.

More than 80 members of Congress are asking the International Trade Commission to remove fertilizer tariffs. They sent a letter saying that duties on imports from Morocco, Trinidad and Tobago are also contributing to record-high costs.

Supporters on both sides of the aisle call it a crisis, and admit it is not absolute relief, but removing the tariffs would ease some of short-term pain.


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