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Rising fertilizer prices costing Michigan farmers

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steve carmody
/
Michigan Radio

State lawmakers will spend time Wednesday discussing resolutions asking for the federal government’s help to ease soaring fertilizer prices.

The House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to discuss a resolution that urge the Congress, federal agencies, and state departments to address the ongoing fertilizer price increases and shortages. A second resolution requests Congress allow farmers to petition the U.S. International Trade Commission to temporarily waive tariffs on imports of fertilizer and fertilizer ingredients imported from Morocco.

According to an official with the Michigan Farm Bureau, since January, 2021, prices for fertilizers have doubled and in some cases tripled.

“All farmers need these products,” says Theresa Sisung, the MFB’s Industry Relations Specialist.

Sisung blames COVID-related and weather-related supply chain issues and increasing demand for fertilizer for rising prices. The war in Ukraine is also playing a role, since fertilizer exports from Russia and Belarus have been affected.

In addition to soaring prices, there have also been sporadic fertilizer shortages.

Sisung doesn’t expect high fertilizer prices will force Michigan farmers to reduce the amount of acreage they plan to cultivate this year.

She adds higher commodity prices are softening the blow for many Michigan farmers.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.