Trifecta is pushing up organic fertilizer prices

A trifecta is pushing up organic fertilizer prices - fuel costs, high pathogenic avian influenza and freight charges.

A manager with Midwestern BioAg explains what organic farmers usually use for fertilizer.

“What organic farmers typically need and use for fertilizer are some commercially-produced products, like a nitrogen 13-OO, for phosphate there are organic potassium products. They tend to rely a lot on poultry litter, too, to get the nutrients the crop needs. That would be the major ones.”

He says his company has been able to source supply for the spring, despite challenges.

“There are some large chicken farms in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin that we tend to purchase products from. There’s been some challenges in that particular product because of the bird flu obviously shutting down many poultry operations. Some have quarantined, so trucks can’t enter their property. So that’s put a little bit of strain on the supply. The other thing that kind of affects that is fuel prices have risen dramatically, so the way freight charges have increased quite a bit. We have been able to source for this spring - may be more of a challenge as we look into the summer and fall. Rail has affected it to a smaller degree, ya know with the backlog, and the products need to be shipped by rail, but that’s just a combination of the whole world economy.”

He says he is still concerned that supply in the summer and fall could tighten due to supply chain disruptions.

“At Midwestern BioAg, our procurement people have done just an outstanding job of being proactive, so our supply has been pretty stable. However, as we move into the season, it could become tighter, but as of today, we are in pretty decent shape with the nitrogen products, and transportation is an issue also. Shortage of trucks and the availability of trucks, and ya know, some unfortunately large poultry farms have had to destroy their flock and of course they’re out of the picture for a good long-term.”

As far as traditional fertilizers, the latest analysis by DTN shows all prices continue their climb. DAP and Urea are at all-time highs. MAP had a significant jump last week. When compared to prices a year ago, some categories are 120% higher.


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No relief in fertilizer prices any time soon