Wall Street Journal: “Record Fertilizer Prices Are Driving… Farmers to Microbes”


“It’s the perfect time for innovation.”

Validation of Meristem’s “Fight Back” campaign and biological portfolio build-out is very easy to find these days. A recent story in the Wall Street Journal pointed out the traction being gained in the marketplace by a whole new category of crop inputs – alternative plant nutrition in the form of biologicals – in the face of “record-high fertilizer prices.”

“It’s in these situations when there’s (sic) supply issues that we’re pushed to step out of our comfort zone a bit,” Avoca, Iowa farmer Dan Hanson told WSJ reporters Patrick Thomas and Amrith Ramkumar. Using Pivot Bio as one of several examples, WSJ pointed out how biological start-ups of all kinds attracted “roughly $1 billion” in investment capital since early last year, “according to…Ag Funder.”

Industry analyst Shane Thomas notes in his recent Upstream Ag Insights, that external forces impacting demand for bios may continue for a time but are likely to return to normal growth trends.

“I think it’s inevitable that we see an increase in biological use above forecasted and historical growth trends – whether because of constraints driving farmers and retailers to try biological fertilizer or biostimulants out or because of opportunistic programs,” he writes, suggesting the eventual demand trend with biologicals will look like the impact of COVID19 on e-commerce: a demand bump followed by normalization.

Meristem Founder and CEO Mitch Eviston says current conditions “make it the perfect time for individual farmers to innovate. Just begin to open some acres for trying these new approaches – these new products – that will help you make the most of the nutrients you do buy.”