Farmers will reportedly grow more soybeans than corn for the third season in history as they deal with increased fertilizer costs, which will likely be passed on to consumers. Russia used to account for 15% of all fertilizer imports into the United States.
John Dittrich, a corn and soybean farmer in Nebraska told MarketWatch, “We have heard that some farmers have balked at buying at the high prices and have not filled their needs, hoping prices will go down.” Iowa farmer John Gilbert explained the issues farmers are facing saying, “It feels like going down the hill in a truck and picking up speed but not being sure if you can make that corner at the bottom
Some forms of fertilizer now cost a record $1,520 per ton this year, an increase of 127%. Corn is trading at roughly $7.67 per bushel, up 4%. As a result, MarketWatch claims 4 million fewer acres of corn will be planted, but soybean crops will expand by the same amount. Soybeans, unlike corn, return nitrogen to the soil rather than extracting it, therefore they only require much less fertilizer. According to Bloomberg, the average farmer uses about 255 pounds of fertilizer for corn and 65 pounds for soybeans.
However, when it comes to increased food prices, fertilizer is only one factor to consider, the cost of cattle feed, gasoline, equipment components, and herbicide have all risen. Additionally, the Midwest is suffering from drought-like conditions, which are resulting in low agricultural yields.