Lucas Joins Letter to President Biden Urging Action on Fertilizer Prices

Apr 06, 2022
Agriculture
Press

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) joined Representatives Tom Emmer (MN-06), Pete Pete Stauber (MN-08), Michelle Fischbach (MN-07), Greg Murphy (NC-03) and Jodey Arrington (TX-19) in sending a letter to President Biden urging action on rising fertilizer prices.

“Rising fertilizer prices are placing a tremendous burden on farming communities across the country and Oklahoma. Whether it be continued supply chain issues or the fallout from Russia’s premeditated invasion of Ukraine, the disruption of fertilizer and commodity markets will have far reaching consequences for farm incomes, agricultural yields, and food prices,” said Congressman Lucas. “America’s farmers know all too well the importance of having a stable, consistent supply of inputs- the same must be said of critical agricultural imports and minerals. I urge President Biden and his Administration to take the necessary actions to ensure the United States has a stable supply of critical minerals and our producers have access to accessible, affordable fertilizer.”

“Skyrocketing and unprecedented input prices are robbing our farmers of their livelihoods, and even today’s high commodity prices simply can’t keep pace. President Biden owes it to our ag community to ensure fertilizer is accessible and affordable,” said Congressman Emmer.

Fertilizer prices rose significantly through March of this year. Diammonium phosphate (DAP), the world’s most commonly used fertilizer, reached its highest price on record last week, up 16% from the previous month. The price of urea rose 10% in the same period.

Prices have been further impacted by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, with sanctions bringing Russian fertilizer imports to a standstill. Russia is consistently among the world’s leading exporters of fertilizer, with a trade volume of nearly $9 billion annually, supplying nearly 50% of the world’s ammonium nitrate and more than. 20% of the world’s potash- two key ingredients in agricultural fertilizers.

“We are writing to express our serious concern regarding record-high fertilizer prices impacting American farmers going into the spring planting season. Fertilizer is a primary input and major expense for producers across the country, and price increases will have a significant effect on farm profitability and the prices of food and consumer products,” wrote the lawmakers

They continued, “Since January 2021, according to the most recent data from the United States Department of Agriculture, the prices of key fertilizer sources have substantially increased as follows: anhydrous ammonia (by 203%); urea (by 141%); liquid nitrogen (by 162%); monoammonium phosphate (by 74%); potash (by 125%); and farm diesel (by 95%). Ongoing supply-chain bottlenecks and the rising cost of energy are among the factors sending fertilizer prices soaring, and disruptions stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will only compound the problem. As a result, Americans will pay more at restaurants, grocery stores, and elsewhere.

“We are therefore urging your administration to review all available options to lower the cost of fertilizer, including but not limited to: eliminating the cross-border vaccine mandate for transporters of essential commerce; urging the USDA to use its existing authorities under the food supply chain and pandemic response resources to provide support for farmers facing financial difficulties; ensuring agricultural minerals like phosphate and potash are part of the Department of the Interior’s crucial mission; increasing U.S. gas production; and approving pending export permits at the Department of Energy for liquefied natural gas.”

Lucas recently joined Oklahoma Farm Report’s Ron Hayes discussing the impact rising fertilizer prices are having on Oklahoma farms and ranches.  

Read the letter in its entirety here.

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