“We are in a spiral of cost increases:” Russia invading Ukraine impacts the cost of fertilizer prices for farmers

MARYLAND–Recently, some local farmers have been trying to plow through some major rough patches. We are told issues with President Biden, China, and now Russia are all creating challenges to getting fertilizer.

“We are in a spiral of cost increases, that have been for the most part man-made,” Virgil Shockley, a Worcester County farmer, said. “With Biden coming in and basically the war on energy the supply of natural gas by itself was cut.”

But, Shockley said what they didn’t know, was that two fertilizer plants in China would close to reduce smog for the Olympics this year.

“You have 6 months of no one working at the fertilizer plants in China producing what they produce potash, phosphorus, urea all that goes into your fertilizer,” Shockley said.

And, currently with the invasion of Ukraine by Russia getting what they need for fertilizer has become harder.

“Russia basically is the potash capital of the world so now Russia now invades Ukraine, we block everything so we have just cut of the supply of what we need,” Shockley said.

And, with the cost of fertilizer increasing it’s something that’s hurting farmers wallets, which could trickle down to the consumer.

” So, we will expect the price of the agriculture produce to increase because of the shortage in fertilizer,” Dr. Stephan Tubene, Associate Professor with the Dept. of Agriculture, Food & Resource Science, said.

But going forward, Shockley hopes leaders understand what farmers are going through when it comes to getting supplies, and how the U.S. can’t let tensions overseas keep hitting local farmers.

” What happened in Ukraine should not have happened, the man shouldn’t have invaded and we should do everything we can and but you cannot cut your own throat, in order to help someone else,” Shockley said.

Dr. Tubene said farmers may try to reduce their costs by replacing traditional fertilizer with alternatives.

Categories: Local News, Maryland, Ukraine Impact