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Fertilizer Shortage? Ken Ferrie Weighs In On Fertilizer Issues This Spring

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Fertilizer prices are creating sticker shock for farmers. As the price of inputs like nitrogen and other fertility inputs continue to climb, industry experts say it’s not a shortage yet.

“What I understand from talking to retailers is there's going to be product available; it may definitely affect your ROI – if you have to pay higher prices for it – but it doesn't seem to me anyway, that there's going to be some real serious shortages, one we would worry about,” says Ken Ferrie, Farm Journal Field Agronomist and owner of Crop-Tech, Inc., Heyworth, Ill. “Of course, the most would be N production when we're talking about corn, because that one does kind of rule the roost. But at this point, from what I'm being told by farmers and retailers here in the Midwest, I don't think this is going to translate into much of a production issue for us.”

Josh Linville,  director of fertilizer for StoneX Group, says the law of supply and demand always comes into play, meaning fertilizer will likely be available but farmers could experience a shortage at current price levels as spring planting nears.

"There’s not necessarily a shortage of product, but there is a shortage of product at current prices," says Linville. "But again, it's capitalism. We will always find supply at a price and the timeframe.”

Linville says the demand piece is part of the puzzle creating higher prices. He says sourcing supply in a certain timeframe - like just before planting- is also aiding the fertilizer price spike.

“The prices rallied in an attempt to destroy some of that demand to try push some of that off,” adds Linville. “So if demand were to stay where it is or increase, we could see shortages.”

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