Farmers are now facing fertilizer price hikes and shortages after a ruling by the U.S. Department of Commerce, threatening their ability to farm. This week, the Department issued a determination after a period of investigation suggesting that urea ammonium nitrate fertilizer that was exported to the United States was sold under value.
While concerning, tariffs are not hitting nitrogen fertilizers imported into the U.S. quite yet. Later this summer, the U.S. The International Trade Commission will make a final ruling.
Looming tariffs threaten farmers’ ability to grow food effectively while raising concern for the global food supply, however, U.S. growers have already been making decisions on what to grow based on shortages and record prices. While the United States sources fertilizer domestically, it is the third-largest importer. The U.S. also uses over 10.3 percent of global fertilizers consumed.
“Placing tariffs on nitrogen fertilizers will land yet another blow to farmers, who are already dealing with a host of issues,” said Brooke S. Appleton, vice president of public policy at the National Corn Growers Association. “Farming is hard enough in the current environment. Farmers can’t do what they do with one hand tied behind their backs. And actions like these, pushed by fertilizer companies, will tie the hands of farmers.”
Back in March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided $250 million to support American fertilizer production.