OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
In many grocery stores across the country, there are shortages of certain items, and food supplies have become scarce globally.
Many farmers will find it impossible to plant corn this year due to dramatically increased fertilizer costs, according to a new report. Below is an excerpt from an email from an insider in the industry.
“Things for 2022 are interesting (and scary). Input costs for things like fertilizer, liquid nitrogen and seeds are like triple and quadruple the old prices. It will not be profitable to plant this year. Let me repeat, the economics will NOT work.
Our plan, is to drop about 700 acres of corn off and convert to soybeans (they use less fertilizer, and we also have chicken manure from that operation). Guess what? We are not the only ones with those plans. Already there is a shortage of soybean seeds, so we will see how that will work out.
The way I see it, there will be a major grain shortage later in the year, especially with corn. I mean, we are small with that. What about these people in the midwest who have like 10,000 acres of corn? This will not be good.”
A subsequent email elaborated on his remarks…
“As for the farming, I see it getting bad. Things like fertilizer and liquid nitrogen have tripled and quadrupled in price.
Yes commodity prices are up, but that certainly won’t cover the new increased input costs. We are in NC, so while certainly not like the midwest, we still grow grain. The midwest of course will have these same higher input costs as well.
Corn for example, typically takes about 600 pounds of fertilizer per acre, plus 50 gallons of liquid nitrogen. Times that by many acres and thats a lot of money. Soybeans take much less.
The plan for us, and most others around here, is to drastically cut corn acres and switch to soybeans. Problem is, there is apparently a soybean seed shortage because others have this plan as well. We were lucky enough to pre buy enough to do it. However, most people, especially younger farmers, or farmers where that is all they do, probably don’t have the money to front like that.
The way I see it, a corn shortage will come. I guess there could possibly be a glut of soybeans, but remember that could depend on the seed being available. I guess there are other alternatives, maybe milo, oats, or barley.
Of course the corn market is much larger. Think animal feed and ethanol. I mean for animals, soybeans are used too, but its a mix. What happens to the animal producers who depend on reasonably priced corn? I just don’t see how it can end well. I mean, even if we end up with plenty of soybeans, even a glut, then you have a busted market for that. I don’t know.
There just isn’t much history to base any of this on. I just see it hurting both grain farmers, and animal farmers, and also translating to more shortages and price increases for consumers who buy the end products.”
Among the foundational components of our food supply is corn.
Corn can be found in just about everything one way or another if you go to the grocery store and read the ingredients.
It’s not just here in the United States that fertilizer prices are skyrocketing.
The high price of fertilizer in South America will greatly affect coffee production…
The Wall Street Journal reported:
“Christina Ribeiro do Valle, who comes from a long line of coffee growers in Brazil, is this year paying three times what she paid last year for the fertilizer she needs. Coupled with a recent drought that hit her crop hard, it means Ms. do Valle, 75, will produce a fraction of her Ribeiro do Valle brand of coffee, some of which is exported.
There is also a shortage of fertilizer. “This year, you pay, then put your name on a waiting list, and the supplier delivers it when he has it,” she said.”
Coffee drinkers will soon have to pay higher prices for their favorite beverage in the morning.
The high cost of fertilizer in Africa could result in “30 million metric tons less food produced”…
“Fertilizer demand in sub-Saharan Africa could fall 30% in 2022, according to the International Fertilizer Development Center, a global nonprofit organization. That would translate to 30 million metric tons less food produced, which the center says is equivalent to the food needs of 100 million people.
“Lower fertilizer use will inevitably weigh on food production and quality, affecting food availability, rural incomes and the livelihoods of the poor,” said Josef Schmidhuber, deputy director of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s trade and markets division.”
National shortages have been reported across the country, and The Wall Street Journal published an article recently titled “U.S. Food Supply Is Under Pressure, From Plants To Store Shelves.”
Residents of Washington, D.C., are being told “just buy what you need and leave some for others.”
“If you’re hitting the grocery store to prepare for winter weather, please just buy what you need and leave some for others! You may have noticed empty shelves in some stores due to national supply chain issues, but there is no need to buy more than you normally would.”
If you're hitting the grocery store to prepare for winter weather, please just buy what you need and leave some for others!
You may have noticed empty shelves in some stores due to national supply chain issues, but there is no need to buy more than you normally would. pic.twitter.com/RcCNNa4Zj4
— DC Homeland Security & Emergency Management (@DC_HSEMA) January 15, 2022