Monday, April 24, 2006

Agriculture Report: Fuel Prices Up 113%, Fertilizer Up 70%

A new report from the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) shows just how much planting costs have risen the last four years. Since 2002, fuel prices have more than doubled, up 113% while fertilizer prices are 70% higher.

Fuel and Fertilizer Costs Per Acre:

Corn - $124 per acre
Soybeans - $38 per acre
High-yield cotton - $70 per acre
Rice - $99 per acre

The way to prevent fertilizer costs from rising this high is to give nations like Russia and Ukraine access to our nation’s fertilizer market. These two countries experience an abundant supply of natural gas at low prices, are export oriented, and are currently expanding fertilizer production. Estimates suggest that monthly domestic nitrogen fertilizer prices would drop by 50% or more if the U.S. allowed imports of Urea and Ammonium Nitrate fertilizers from these nations.

I have testified before the International Trade Commission to express my strong support for opening our markets to fertilizer inputs from nations like Russia, and I plan to introduce two pieces of legislation to eliminate tariffs on these critical agricultural products. These measures would increase the supply of affordable fertilizer and help preserve the economic livelihood of our farm families.

I also continue to push for legislation that would provide supplemental direct payments to farmers who suffered economic losses due to high fuel and fertilizer costs during the 2005 crop year.

Click here to read the full report.