ICGA Evaluates Fertilizer Challenge on Behalf of Illinois Farmers
Last week, the IL Corn Growers Association (ICGA) contacted Illinois representatives on the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Agriculture Committee to alert them of the concern we have over fertilizer prices and availability.
We have heard from farmers that fertilizer prices – when they can even get pricing – are double the prices they paid in 2020, and sometimes other farmers are unable to get pricing at all. All Illinois farmers are worried about fertilizer availability for fall 2021 and spring 2022 applications.
After alerting our representatives about the steep fertilizer price increase, the highest in the last thirteen years, ICGA explained some of the dynamics at play in the fertilizer industry.
Global supplies of these critical farm inputs have tightened and supply chain challenges, including natural disasters and government interventions, have contributed to the price increases. Also contributing to the run up in prices are tariffs implemented by the Commerce Department on imports of phosphate-based fertilizers from Morocco and Russia. These countervailing duties were enacted in early 2021 after an International Trade Commission (ITC) investigation found that the import of foreign phosphatic fertilizers injured U.S. fertilizer manufacturers.
These tariffs represent a substantial tax on farmers, who have virtually no bargaining power with input suppliers and are unable to hedge against rising costs of production. The ITC is currently investigating potential import injury on U.S. nitrogen-based fertilizer producers. If the Commission finds that imports compete unfairly against U.S. companies, farmers will again bear the brunt of any tariff implementation.
Illinois farmers need help and relief if they are to access the fertilizer that will allow them to feed and fuel the world in the future. Acquiring this help is not without its challenges, however.
There is no clear-cut pathway to solving this problem, and even our Illinois representatives that sit on the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Agriculture Committee can’t fix it quickly. Your IL Corn Growers Association is working on the problem and leaving no stone unturned as we determine the committees and individuals that are in a position to fix the fertilizer challenge.
Check out these words from our ICGA President, Randy DeSutter, a farmer from Woodhull, IL.