Increasing fertilizer costs are hurting many north Alabama farmers, may increase food costs

Fertilizer costs on the rise
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 10:46 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The cost of everything is high but prices could get even higher at the grocery store.

The rising cost of fertilizer is having a trickle-down effect on north Alabama farmers.

Farmers have to pay more to grow crops, so livestock farmers like Stacey Perea with Red Boat Farms have to shell out more money to feed their animals.

“We buy hay twice a year,” explained Perea. “We buy the large round bales and we fill our barn. It’s usually about 25 bales that we buy. Last year it was about $500 this year it rose about 20% to $700 and the reasoning was the fertilizer for the fields.”

She raises about 85 mouths, snouts and beaks to feed.

It’s all because Russia is one of the top producers of fertilizer in the world. The United States has sanctions against Russian exports in response to the war on Ukraine.

“We had hoped my husband was going to come off his contracting job in the near future and farm full time but we had a discussion this week that that’s not going to happen, not right now we can’t afford to,” Perea said.

Farmers are already facing financial problems with the cost of fuel doubling.

“I probably will have a price increase on my pork because of the fuel costs of going back and forth when I factor it all in I can’t break even,” said Perea.

The same goes for urban farmers like Greg Allison, the owner of Green Greg’s Garden and Worm Farm in Huntsville. He grows, sells and delivers microgreens and he’s going to add on mushrooms soon. He says he has to add surge prices to his deliveries now.

“We’re going to offer at-home deliveries,” said Allison. “We definitely have to add a surge charge of $5 or $6 for delivery. We can only do that low price if we can combine trips like we’ll go close to a pickup point or several customers in the same areas so we’re not just making from two points. We couldn’t do that economically with the cost of fuel today.”

Farmers of all kinds are looking for any kind of reprieve.

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