Is Inflation Affecting Your Garden?

Like most industries these days, the fertilizer industry is suffering from supply chain shortages and rising prices, making conservation imperative. SoilKit® makes fertilizing efficient, even with supply difficulties. As a result of shortages, fertilizer prices have more than doubled over the past year. By using SoilKit®, you can obtain an accurate measurement of the precise amount of fertilizer necessary for your soil, so you do not overconsume or overspend. SoilKit® gives science-based solutions for exact amounts, preventing over-fertilization. When using a soil test, you might find that simply raising your soil’s pH, for example, may make existing nutrients more readily available to the plants. Products that augment pH, like lime and sulfur, are still affordable. A feature SoilKit® hopes to implement in the future is the ability for landscapers and municipalities to aggregate multiple test recommendations to facilitate pre-ordering in bulk to achieve volume discounts.

According to Mr. Taylor Pursell, Chairman of Pursell Agri-Tech, “Fertilizers are commodities and prices are cyclical in nature.” He elaborated, “I have seen this (very large) spike in prices only a couple of times in my 40 years in the industry.” He predicts that prices will fall over time, however it will not be this spring. He explained, “The central cause of nitrogen prices rising is natural gas price spikes in Europe in 2021. Many ammonia plants (where most nitrogen fertilizers are produced) were shut down for a long period, creating supply shortages. Phosphate and potash prices have also surged due to supply chain issues.”

Mr. Pursell offered solutions other than the obvious: implementing a soil test. “When fertilizing anything (whether a lawn or food crops), the key is to use products that do not have excessive nutrient losses into the environment. This can be done by using controlled release fertilizers that deliver nutrients over a long period of time with minimal losses. Or, you can apply smaller amounts of fertilizer more [frequently].” He continued, “While most fertilizer is used in agriculture, consumer lawns can be a significant source of fertilizer runoff into lakes and streams or into wastewater systems. As excessive phosphorous and nitrogen are applied (and lost), algal blooms can form, which can have a detrimental effect.” With these insights, we wish you the best in navigating these elevated fertilizer prices this year.