Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to express our serious concern regarding record-high fertilizer prices impacting American farmers going into the spring planting season. Fertilizer is a primary input and major expense for producers across the country, and price increases will have a significant effect on farm profitability and the prices of food and consumer products.
Since January 2021, according to the most recent data from the United States Department of Agriculture, the prices of key fertilizer sources have substantially increased as follows: anhydrous ammonia (by 203%); urea (by 141%); liquid nitrogen (by 162%); monoammonium phosphate (by 74%); potash (by 125%); and farm diesel (by 95%). Ongoing supply-chain bottlenecks and the rising cost of energy are among the factors sending fertilizer prices soaring, and disruptions stemming from Russia's invasion of Ukraine will only compound the problem. As a result, Americans will pay more at restaurants, grocery stores, and elsewhere.
We are therefore urging your administration to review all available options to lower the cost of fertilizer, including but not limited to: eliminating the cross-border vaccine mandate for transporters of essential commerce; urging the USDA to use its existing authorities under the food supply chain and pandemic response resources to provide support for farmers facing financial difficulties; ensuring agricultural minerals like phosphate and potash are part of the Department of the Interior's crucial mission; increasing U.S. gas production; and approving pending export permits at the Department of Energy for liquefied natural gas.
Quickly undertaking such measures is the most immediate - and perhaps only - near-term opportunity to partially remedy the high costs of fertilizer hurting American farmers and, ultimately, American consumers. Thank you for your attention to this matter.