Concerns over high fertilizer prices continue to mount among corn growers across the U.S. as prep for the 2022 planting season intensifies. Editors for Pro Farmer report that Iowa Attorney General (AG) Tom Miller is directing Iowa State University agriculture economist John Crespi, director of ISU’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, to conduct an economic summary of fertilizer markets and the rapid prices increases.
The study comes after the Iowa Corn Growers Association requested Miller investigate the fertilizer price increases. Miller said he discussed the investigation with eight different states and USDA, but did not give a timeline for the study to be completed.
This action follows previous research on fertilizer prices by Texas A&M University that noted generally higher fertilizer prices follow years of higher farmer income. In that study, supported by state corn grower associations in 21 states, it was noted that the price of anhydrous ammonia had increased by $688 per ton – $86,000 for a 1,000-acre farm – from the end of 2020 through the end of October 2021.
“As part of this study, we conducted an historical analysis going back to 1980 and found that fertilizer costs tend to go up when corn revenues increase,” lead researcher Joe Outlaw, Ph.D., noted. “Notably, these prices tend to go up exponentially even after accounting for natural gas prices and higher demand.”