Record-high fertilizer prices impacting Alberta farmers – Lethbridge


Fertilizer is a critical part of food security and sustainability in Canada. According to southern Alberta farmer David Bishop, it’s one of the main tools farmers use.

“Seed, we call that the foundation of the crop,” he said. “Fertilizer is right there with it because without fertilizer we won’t grow a very good crop.”

Bishop said he has watched the price of fertilizer climb over the last year.

“Anhydrous, in the fall, it had gone up in price already, and we did some at $950 and now it’s roughly $2,200,” he said.

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Demand for the essential product has driven the price higher than ever before.

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“Certainly we are at historically high levels for fertilizer pricesx, but that is consistent with very high prices farmers are getting for their crops in the fall,” said Clyde Graham, executive vice-president with Fertilizer Canada.

Graham added there are a number of factors driving the price up, including dealing with pandemic-related challenges. There are also a series of unusual supply interruptions playing a big role.

“China has stopped exporting fertilizer,” he said.

“We have had supply disruptions of fertilizer production in Western Canada, in the United States. In Europe, there are issues related to natural gas which is a key component in fertilizer manufacturing. Russia has reduced its exports.”

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Graham said Canada is the largest exporter of fertilizer in the world, delivering to more than 75 countries.

Worldwide demand is expected to continue to increaseC, so the price is most likely going to stay where it is as we inch closer to the 2022 seeding season.

“I know some people that had the ability to purchase their fertilizer last summer when the price was lower, they are the ones that made the best decision, so good for them,” Bishop said.

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He added that he purchased about half the amount he needs for next year but will need to buy more. He said one thing that will help this coming year is leftover fertilizer in the ground that wasn’t used up by plants in the drought experienced this year in much of Canada.

Bishop said that means he will only have to apply about half the amount he normally would on his dryland crops, but irrigated land will need the same amount as usual.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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