High fertilizer prices are now threatening a world staple

The soaring cost of fertilizer is now threatening the global rice supply.

The International Rice Research Institute says farmers across Asia are scaling back on their use, and it could lead to a 10% drop in production. To put that into perspective, that translates to 36 million tons of rice or enough to feed 500 million people.

From India to Vietnam and the Philippines, the cost of crop nutrients has doubled or even tripled in the past year. Unlike wheat and corn, rice has not gone up in price because of ample production and existing stockpiles. So, farmers are spending more to plant the crop, but are not getting more money for the grain.

Analyst Carley Garner told Scott Shellady on Cow Guy Close that there is no need to panic in the U.S..

“I do have one saving grace: so I’m not panicking yet. Ultimately, we as consumers have substitutes, right? If we can’t get rice or wheat or whatever it is, we can buy something else that maybe we may not enjoy as much, but it’s there. So I think we’re going to be fine, and the U.S. farmer has gotten extremely good at what they do and although they don’t grow rice, I think when it comes to beans and corn and corn and soybeans, I think that give it a couple of years and we’ll probably get in a glut again.”

U.S. rice growers in March indicated they would plant almost 2.5 million acres this season, which is down from a year earlier.


No relief in fertilizer prices any time soon

Availability Anxiety: Fertilizer picture is only getting worse for farmers

U.S. Rice Price Prospects are Improving

Planting Update: rice planting is behind the five-year average pace