FERT Foundation’s Ford West Leadership Academy Delivers First Class Results

More than 40 emerging leaders from across the fertilizer industry participated in the first annual Ford West Leadership Academy this week in Houston, Texas. The highly interactive industry-specific curriculum for this first cohort featured expert-led sessions on Advocacy, Sales and Business Development, Agronomy and Stewardship, The Essentials of Finance, Crisis Management, Safety and Security, Fertilizer 101 and the History and Future of the Fertilizer Industry. After conclusion of the classroom portion, participants also had an opportunity to tour American Plant Food’s Houston facilities.

“Eighty two percent of all respondents to TFI’s recent Industry Trends Survey cited recruitment and retention of skilled staff as a top tier concern,” said TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “The Ford West Leadership Academy tackles that issue head-on by exposing high-potential industry employees to all facets of the fertilizer supply chain and growing their technical and soft skills. By engaging established industry professionals as session facilitators, we’re ensuring the transfer of industry knowledge from current leaders to future leaders and equip participants with essential tools for professional success.”

This prestigious program which is open to individuals who have been nominated by their company’s leadership is named in honor of Ford West, former CEO & President of TFI, whose unwavering dedication and profound commitment to our industry set a shining example of servant leadership.

Ford’s passion for the fertilizer industry and commitment to opening doors for future generations was legendary,” said Harriet Wegmeyer, Executive Director of the FERT Foundation. “There is no better professional legacy for him than this Academy.”

The FERT Foundation would like to thank members of the Ford West Leadership Academy Steering Committee who expertly directed development of the content and curriculum of the Academy. The steering committee is comprised of a cross-section of companies and individuals with varying skills and experience in the fertilizer supply chain. Inaugural steering committee members are as follows: 

Roger Baker, CHS 
Paul Barr, Winfield United 
Marcie Booth, Koch 
Matt Brown, Landus 
Kim Colvin, Quad Chemical 
Mindy Dale, The Mosaic Company 
John Fowler, Nutrien 
Bert Frost, CF Industries 
Premjit Halarnkar, CH Biotech 
Mary Hartney, FFAA 
Kala Killworth, Simplot 
Josh Long, American Plant Food Corporation 
Tim Mahoney, IRM 
Sean McCarty, Helena Agribusiness 
Lisa Nguyen, TKI 
Jacob Schreve, Helm 
Sarah Terrell, Trammo 
Jacob Winans, Brandt 
Courtney Yuskis, Yara 

We would also like to thank our session facilitators and panelists who shared their expertise and perspectives with our participants:  

Session:                                                                    Facilitator:

Discover Your Strengths                                       Kala Killworth, Simplot

Fertilizer 101                                                          Taylor Pursell, Pursell Agri-tech

Major Events in the Fertilizer Industry                Karl Barnhart, Brandt

Advocacy                                                                Cameron Bishop, Simplot

Finance                                                                   Rowdy Smith, United Services

Crisis Management & Safety                               Todd Stuart, Koch

Agronomy                                                               Trey Cutts, Yara

Management & Coaching                                    Lisa Nguyen, TKI


Sales and Business Development Panel 

Moderator Sarah Terrell, Trammo, Panelists: Mike Hamilton, AdvanSix; Scott Lee, Sabic; and Kelly Davey, Nutrien


Future of the Fertilizer Industry Panel

 Moderator Bert Frost, CF Industries

Panelists: Toby Hlavinka, American Plant Food; Russell Sides, TKI; and Greg Griffin, Wilbur Ellis.


Plant Tour Josh Long, American Plant Food

The Ford West Leadership Academy will bring back this year’s cohort for completion of the program and begin with a new cohort in 2025 at a date and location to be announced shortly.

New Fertilizer Industry Foundation is Formed


The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) today announced the consolidation of industry-supported organizations into the FERT Foundation, which will be dedicated to ensuring that education, research and training is conducted under a single umbrella. The new foundation will bring the work of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation (FFF), Foundation for Agronomic Research (FAR), and Nutrients for Life Foundation (NFLF) together and ensure that the industry’s resources are used for maximum impact.

The three pillars of new FERT Foundation are fertilizer education, research, and training. Fertilizer education will continue under the Nutrients for Life program name. Training will operate under the Ford West Leadership Academy. Research will combine priorities of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation and the Foundation for Agronomic Research. The new Foundation will be a separate 501(c)3 organization, and will be a private foundation, serving the needs of the fertilizer industry. TFI members will direct its activity.

Goals of the FERT Foundation include:

  • Building greater understanding of the tremendous benefits afforded by using fertilizers, including an understanding of the industry’s commitment to sustainability.
  • Developing easily digestible research summaries for dissemination to retail agronomists.  
  • Building a body of research that is being used in education and with regulatory agencies.
  • Spearheading a leadership program designed specifically for fertilizer industry members.
  • Fostering and promoting careers in nutrient science and education – including 4R Nutrient Stewardship to a diverse audience of learners and educators.

 The first annual Ford West Leadership Academy will be held January 15-18, 2024, in Houston, Texas. Further details, including a preliminary schedule and registration information are available here.

“The aim of the FERT Foundation is a world in which fertilizers are understood and appreciated, scientific research supports advocacy for sustainable fertilizer use, and an engaged, informed and diverse workforce serves a thriving industry,” said TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “By leveraging economies of scale and more closely aligning objectives, these organizations will better serve the industry than could the existing patchwork of stand-alone organizations.”

Further information on the FERT Foundation is available here.




Shark Week in St. Louis – A Successful Growing Season Starts at InfoAg

Retailers and crop advisors will find answers to some of the hottest questions about precision agriculture, crop input product innovation, and sustainability at the 2023 InfoAg Conference, scheduled for June 27-28, in St. Louis, MO. The conference’s opening keynote is Troy Bolt, Vice President and General Manager for Simplot Grower Solutions, who will be speaking on Simplot’s Perspective of the Future of Agriculture and Ag Retail.

Wednesday’s luncheon keynote is not your average Illinois grain farmer. Rob Sharkey, better known as the SharkFarmer, is a risk taker and out-of-the box thinker who believes everyone has a story to tell. Sharkey’s authenticity and ability to tackle controversial issues and share the triumphs and struggles of the modern farmer has catapulted him onto Sirius XM, PBS, Acres TV, and 6 Seasons (and counting) of SharkFarmer TV.

Don’t settle for an imitation – InfoAg is the only conference of its kind that is programmed by retailers and crop advisors for their peers. InfoAg attendees can be assured that the topics they care most about are on the agenda.

Sessions and speakers include:

  • How to Make Use of On-Farm Data to Make Meaningful Management Decisions Dan Schaefer, IFCA; Eric Miller, 4R Grower
  • Blending Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers Into 4R Fertility Programs Dr. Greg Schwab, Koch
  • Measuring a Field: 60% of the Time It Works Every Time… Nathan Faleide, Earth Observations
  • Understanding the Basics of Soil Testing John Breker, AgVise Labs
  • Panel: Tech Booms of the Past: Why Some Technology Has Failed and Some Has Thrived Dan Burdett – Moderator; Dr. Randy Taylor, Oklahoma State; Dr. Scott Shearer, Ohio State University; Aman Anand, Nutrien Ag Solutions
  • Understanding the Regulatory Environment and Necessary Considerations for Biostimulants Dr. Mark LeBlanc, OISC Purdue
  • Panel: The Future of Carbon Markets Keith Byerly, Mosaic – Moderator; Clay Edwards, Cargill; Jamie Ridgely, Truterra
  • What Is Soil Health? And How to Improve It On-Farm Dr. Jordan Wade, University of Missouri
  • How to Incorporate Fluid Fertilizer Into Your Fertility Programs Chris Underwood, Alchemy Experts

InfoAg also features a robust trade show which allows participants to learn about the latest products and services and opportunities to benefit their farmer customers.

Please use the following links to find more information on registering  to attend or exhibit at InfoAg.








2023 4R Advocate Awards : Call for Entries

Online submissions are due by November 30th.

 The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) is now accepting nominations for the 2023 4R Advocate awards. This program recognizes farmers and fertilizer retailers for their commitment to sound nutrient stewardship using the 4Rs, or the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, the right time and in the right place. Through these 4R farming practices, farmers improve their return on their nutrient inputs and decrease environmental impact.  

“The 4R Advocate program highlights farmers’ partnerships with their retailers or certified agronomists throughout the year and demonstrates to the fertilizer industry, the agricultural community, and policymakers the real-world benefits the 4Rs deliver on the farm and in communities,” said TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch.

“Farmers often get unfairly blamed for overapplying fertilizers,” continued Rosenbusch. “Our work with 4R Advocates tells a different story as these growers are outperforming farmers around the world. This program is a key component of our research strategy and allows us to continue to challenge the narrative with an expanded portfolio of grower case studies.”

Advocate nominations are due no later than Friday, November 30, 2022. Program rules and entry forms for retailers and industry partners to nominate farmers are available online, as are easy directions for farmers and retailers to document their efforts to apply the 4R Nutrient Stewardship principles and to chart results. Applicants can also read previous winners’ stories at nutrientstewardship.org.   

The 2023 4R Advocate winners will be announced in mid-December. Advocates will be recognized throughout 2023 at TFI meetings and other ag forums. The 2023 Advocates will serve as 4R ambassadors within their businesses and in the wider grower community.

To date, 120 4R Advocates from 24 states, representing nearly one-quarter million acres have been recognized. They grow crops that include apples, alfalfa, cabbage, collard greens, corn, cotton, hops, peanuts, rice, soybeans, strawberries, tomatoes, and more.

The 4R Advocate program aims to raise awareness and adoption of 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices. Fertilizer is a key component of sustainable crop production systems, and the fertilizer industry recognizes the need to efficiently utilize these nutrients. 4R Advocates and other farmers have partnered with The Fertilizer Institute to demonstrate how 4R practices have led to cost-efficiencies and improved environmental outcomes on their fields. More information and data on their efforts is available at 4RFarming.org.




# # #


TFI Urges Speedy Rail-Labor Union Contract Settlement

Arlington, VA – The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) today thanked members of the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) for hearing from both rail carriers and their labor unions and providing measured recommendations on a pending contract agreement between the two. TFI urges all parties to swiftly reach a compromise and contract agreement. Both sides have until Sept. 16 to evaluate the PEB’s recommendations during a mandated 30-day cooling-off period.

“Uncertainty of this nature is yet another disruption in an already complex environment for farmers, so speedy resolution is paramount,” said TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “Over half of all fertilizer moves by rail year-round throughout the United States and the timeliness and reliability of fertilizer shipments is absolutely critical. If farmers do not receive fertilizer, it results in lower crop yields, higher food prices, and more inflation for consumers.”



TFI Statement on USDA Fertilizer Innovation Initiative

Two out of every five people alive today owe their lives to the use of fertilizer and TFI welcomes initiatives to strengthen domestic fertilizer production including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) $250 million grant program to support the development and production of innovative fertilizers.  

Innovation has been the hallmark of the fertilizer industry. Enhanced efficiency fertilizers and other new technologies play a big role in our ability to feed a growing population efficiently and sustainably. While new products are the focus of today’s announcement, it’s important to recognize the innovative work undertaken by companies in the U.S. market, who have made a strong comeback from the days of high natural gas prices to leverage the shale gas revolution.

We have a more robust U.S. fertilizer industry than we have seen in two decades. By enacting policies that encourage safe, abundant, and affordable supplies of natural gas, which is the chief feedstock for nitrogen production, ensuring that permitting of production plants is streamlined and adding phosphate and potash to the Department of the Interior’s Critical Minerals list, policymakers can also support this vital industry.

The fertilizer industry’s investment in innovation has been longstanding. Most recently, TFI partnered with USDA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other key stakeholders on the Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges. Collectively, the challenges aim to accelerate the development of innovative fertilizer product technologies and to increase the use of existing enhanced efficiency fertilizers (EEFS) that maintain or increase crop yields and reduce environmental impacts to air, land, and water.

Additionally, we look forward to providing USDA with data for its RFI.  Fertilizer is resource dependent, capital intensive, and requires high-skilled labor and expertise to safely produce, handle, transport, and store. Ninety percent of all fertilizer in the world is used outside the United States, which means that globally supply and demand dynamics are critical factors in the price and availability of fertilizers. Still, when compared to peer sectors around the world, the U.S. fertilizer industry is among the most competitive and environmentally advanced. 


Statement on Russia-Ukraine Conflict

TFI is concerned about the destabilizing situation occurring in the Ukraine. Our main concern is the safety of all the citizens in harm’s way.

Currently, it is unclear the exact magnitude and how the Russia-Ukraine conflict will affect the already-tight global market for fertilizer, but it will add additional pressure on a market that has already experienced many challenges over the last 18 months.

It has been implied that fertilizer companies may take advantage of the current situation, but that is far from the truth. The U.S. fertilizer industry is committed to serving farmers and makes it unequivocally clear that ensuring grower access to the nutrients needed to sustain people around the world is of the highest priority.

Because 90% of all fertilizer used is consumed outside the United States, the actions of Russia will impact the global market for fertilizer around the world. Russia is the second largest producer of ammonia, urea, and potash and the fifth largest producer of processed phosphates. In terms of their share of the global export market, Russia accounts for 23% of ammonia, 14% of urea, and 21% of potash, as well as 10% of processed phosphate exports. The conflict in the Ukraine will also put additional stress and uncertainty on energy markets. Russia supplies approximately one-third of Europe’s natural gas, the main feedstock to produce nitrogen fertilizers.

Because of Russia’s large fertilizer production and its role as a global fertilizer supplier, the removal of Russian product from the global marketplace will have an impact on supply. Despite the benefits afforded by a robust U.S.-based fertilizer industry, prices for our products are driven by global supply and demand factors. There have been reports of misleading information regarding the applicability of U.S. sanctions to companies in the industry, and TFI strongly encourages companies to consult legal counsel for advice on sanctions-related issues at question.


Statement on North Carolina Fire

Our thoughts and prayers are with the citizens and first responders of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The fertilizer industry is committed to the safe handling of all fertilizer products and supports retailers of all sizes with handling and regulatory compliance resources through ResponsibleAg. ResponsibleAg is an industry-led initiative committed to helping agribusinesses properly store and handle farm input supplies. The program helps retailers ensure they are compliant with environmental, health, safety and security regulations to keep employees, customers and our communities safe. Since its founding in 2014, ResponsibleAg has audited more than 4,300 retail fertilizer facilities.



The Complex Truth About Fertilizer Prices

U.S. fertilizer manufacturers, importers and retailers are heavily invested in making sure that farming is profitable and sustainable. The U.S. fertilizer industry operates in a global economy, and the prices farmers pay for fertilizer are subject to a complex web of global supply and demand factors:

Global Demand
A total of 90 percent of global fertilizer consumption occurs outside of the United States. US producers and farmers must continue to remain competitive globally to stay in business.

Global Supply
The primary fertilizer materials, like the major crops, are commodities and are widely traded globally. In 2020, nearly 44 percent of all fertilizer produced globally was exported. Supply chain challenges are present across all commodity markets today, and fertilizer is no exception.


“Facts are stubborn things,” is a statement often attributed to former U.S. President John Adams. Although Adams never saw the economic, environmental and social benefits afforded by commercially produced fertilizers in his lifetime, he probably knew that the truth is often more complex than it initially appears.”


Anticipated Crop Prices
Fertilizer is closely linked to commodities. Corn for example, accounts for nearly 50 percent of U.S. nutrient use. The markets are linked because as farmers try to increase production to capture additional revenue from high or increasing crop prices, demand for fertilizer increases due to additional planted acreage. While highly correlated in the long run, there have been periods, such as 2011-2014, when the prices do not move together because there are factors that independently influence both crop and fertilizer prices.

2021/22 season average corn prices were forecast by USDA in April 2022 to be up significantly at $5.80/bu. compared to $3.61, $3.56, and $4.35 in the past three years. The price outlook for corn harvested in 2021 also dramatically increased since mid-2020, creating strong demand for fertilizers.

Trade Disruptions
Fertilizer is sold in a global market, so disruptions in other geographies will also impact the U.S. market either through supply, price, or both. Belarus has historically comprised approximately 21percent of the global supply for potash. In August of2021, the U.S. and EU governments enacted sanctions against Belarus for election fraud and other human rights violations. This created a global supply-shock in the potash market as some financial institutions are reluctant to provide financing for these transactions.

China’s export ban on phosphate fertilizer as well as some nitrogen fertilizers through June 2022 puts additional pressure on the global market. China accounted for 25 percent of global processed phosphate exports and 10% percent of urea exports in 2020.

Russia set six-month quotas (not a full ban) on nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers in November 2021. Russia accounted for 10 percent of global processed phosphate exports and 23 percent and 14 percent of global exports for ammonia and urea respectively in 2020. This policy was recently extended to December of 2022.

In response to the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. government enacted sanctions against Russia for its actions. Given Russia is a major global exporter of fertilizers, this will create a global supply-shock. Additionally, even for those countries who have not sanctioned Russia, financial institutions are reluctant to provide financing for transactions.

Production Costs
The price of natural gas has a direct impact on the cost of ammonia production as it accounts for 70 to 90percent of total ammonia production costs. In 2021,natural gas prices doubled. Record prices in Europe near the end of 2021 caused an estimated 40 percent of ammonia production to be shuttered or idled. Prices have gone down, but recently increased due to the invasion of Ukraine.

Natural Disasters
The February 2020 winter ice storms and Hurricane Ida are the most recent examples of a natural disasters that interrupted production of fertilizers (and natural gas) in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, which account for 60 percent of total U.S. ammonia production.

To reduce potential exposure in 2020, some manufacturers postponed regularly scheduled maintenance turnarounds (2-6 week period) to avoid having additional contractors on site. This maintenance is necessary and cannot be delayed indefinitely, so a larger than normal number of turnarounds occurred in the summer of 2021, impacting some production schedules.

Cross-Border Vaccine Mandate
The Department of Homeland Security has imposed a vaccine mandate on U.S.-Mexican-Canadian cross-border commerce. Eighty-six percent (86 percent) of the potash fertilizer used by U.S. farmers comes from Canada, and the mandate may impact the ability to ship fertilizer across the border, raising costs and threatening supply in the northern states. This mandate remains in effect.

Fertilizer moves by rail, truck, barge, pipeline, and ocean vessels. Over the past 20 years, rail rates to ship anhydrous ammonia have increased 206 percent, which is more than triple the average increase for all commodities combined. The just-in-time need for fertilizer application can exacerbate this challenge for fertilizer shippers as trucking capacity is a serious challenge, as are unexpected lock-and-dam failures.

Domestic Fertilizer Delivery
Timely fertilizer delivery is highly dependent upon global, national, and local logistics and supply chains. Historically, local and regional supply chains experience challenges due to unforeseen events and weather, this year being no different. The Fertilizer Institute strongly encourages growers to test their soils and work closely with their trusted retail providers to plan for the next crop year as early as possible.

Domestic Supply
The United States is the third largest manufacturer of nitrogen fertilizers, and the domestic market remains competitive. In 2008, there were 13 companies operating 22 nitrogen ammonia plants. Today, the industry has expanded to 16 companies operating 35 ammonia plants, producing 15.5 million nutrient short tons of nitrogen fertilizer.

The United States is the third largest producer of phosphate fertilizer; however, phosphate production is dependent on the location and availability of this natural resource.

“Facts are stubborn things,” is a statement often attributed to former U.S. President John Adams. Although Adams never saw the economic, environmental and social benefits afforded by commercially produced fertilizers in his lifetime, he probably knew that the truth is often more complex than it initially appears. Further information on supply, demand and other market dynamics is available from TFI.


Global Food Security – a Critical Issue


The following white paper was produced by the International Fertilizer Association:


What is food security? All people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life (United Nation’s Committee on World Food Security). (www.ifpri.org/topic/food-security)

What is the state of food security? Even before the covid-19 pandemic, the most recently available estimates of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) published in 2019 indicated that nearly 690 million people, or 8.9 percent of the world population, were going hungry. Moderate or severe food insecurity rose between 2015 and 2019, affecting more than a quarter of the world population, women more often than men (http://www.fao.org/sdg-progress-report/en/).

A note on nutrition security, some 3 billion people cannot afford a basic healthy diet that contains all the essential nutrients for a healthy life.

What influences food security? Many factors go into food security – climate change and local weather conditions, agricultural policies, social customs, business models, access to market, technology and finance, post-harvest losses and more. Most fundamentally, it is the smallholder farms (some 90 percent of the world’s farms, according to the FAO) and the larger family enterprises that help feed a global population that is on track to reach 10 billion.

Farmers’ access to inputs such as fertilizers is vital for food security. There is a strong link between people’s nutrition and the amounts and types of minerals available in soil and plants. This is because plants are the primary source of nutrients for people and animals.

  • Ideally, farmers can access a variety of plant nutrition solutions tailored to their specific sites. Fertilizers may be organic (e.g., manure), mineral (either natural or manufactured, and often imported from other countries) or organo-mineral.
  • Fertilizers provide essential macro- and micronutrients to plants, which in turn are passed on to people when consumed:

    • Nitrogen. Nitrogen is an essential component of amino acids for building proteins, nucleic acids and chlorophyll which converts the sun’s energy into sugars. It is vital for plant metabolism, growth and health, which in turn benefits humans.
    • Phosphorus and plants. Phosphorous is vital for energy storage and transfer and membrane integrity in plants. Particularly important in early growth stages, it promotes tillering, root development, early flowering and ripening.
    • Phosphorus and people. Phosphorous is a component of bones, teeth, DNA and RNA. In the form of phospholipids, phosphorus is also a component of cell membrane structure and of the body’s key energy source, ATP.
    • Potash (potassium) and plants. Potassium has major functions in enzyme activation, transpiration and the transport of assimilates (the products of photosynthesis). It helps plants retain water during droughts, provides strength to plant cell walls and decreases susceptibility to diseases and insects.
    • Potash (potassium) and people. Potassium is vital for the proper functioning of cells, and muscles and nerves depend on it. Since potassium cannot be stored in the body, it must be continually replaced by foods rich in potassium.

For more information, see 19 Essential Ingredients for Improving and Protecting Plant Health, International Fertilizer Association (IFA)

When supplies are constrained not all remaining fertilizer producers can quickly scale up production and get inputs to distributors and farmers.

The production process for nitrogen-based fertilizers starts by pulling nitrogen from the air and reacting it with hydrogen to produce ammonia, with further steps leading to fertilizer products such as urea, ammonium nitrate and urea ammonium nitrate. As the nitrogen production process is energy-intensive, large volumes are produced in locations with access to hydrocarbon resources.

Phosphate and potash-based fertilizers are produced from mined ores. Mines can take months or longer to make changes in production, there is not always a quick way to bridge gaps in supply. It also takes several years to construct newbuild processing plants to upgrade the mined ores into finished fertilizer products. (Fertilizer Manual, 3rd edition).

All mineral fertilizer products have the potential to suffer supply disruptions. At the most local scale, markets with relatively few players such as potash can suffer disruptions as a result of a single mine or plant going out of operation or no longer having access to the market. In 2019, the top four potash exporters – Canada, Belarus, Russia and Israel – accounted for 85% of global trade volume (IFA: IFASTAT). Producer-level disruptions can occur as a result of technical issues, natural disasters, geopolitical tensions and other unforeseen factors.

In fertilizer markets with a larger number of players such as nitrogen and phosphate, events on a country and regional scale can still cause disruptions. In 2019, the top four urea exporters – Russia, Qatar, China and Egypt – accounted for 45% of global trade volume (IFA: IFASTAT). The top four exporting countries of DAP and MAP – China, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the US – accounted for 79% of global trade (IFA: IFASTAT). Raw material supply interruptions, geopolitical conflict and trade barriers, among others, all have the potential to disrupt global trade and reduce the accessibility of fertilizers.

What can happen when farmers do not have access to inputs such as mineral fertilizers?

Farmers have to make choices and consider trade-offs every day. If mineral fertilizers are not physically available or no longer an economic option – either to use alone or in combination with other plant nutrients, and depending on what the plants, soils and local conditions need, and the time of year – the consequences can be serious for the farmers and society.

  • Farmers need an adequate supply of nutrients in both soil and plants to ensure soil fertility, good crop yields, healthier plants that can better withstand adverse weather conditions and disease and crops that have good nutritional value.
  • In part, food and nutrition security depends on better crop quality for human health and the health of livestock.
  • Farmers’ livelihoods can be precarious and vulnerable to disruptions to their productivity such as problems with inputs such as fertilizers and seeds. This is particularly important for smallholder farmers.

Governments across the globe designated fertilizer as an essential good in the early part of the Covid-19 pandemic, an indicator of its vital role in the agriculture value chain, and they should continue to do so.

  • The UN’s FAO reported in June 2021 that global food prices have risen for the past 12 months to reach the highest in almost a decade in May and freight costs have also increased.
  • FAO also reported that the cost of importing food is set to rise by 12 percent to $1.72 trillion globally led by increases in grains, vegetable oils and oil seeds.