NewsCovering Colorado


Groceries more expensive after fertilizer hit record high cost this year

The cost of fertilizer hit a new record high in March of 2022
Posted at 7:16 PM, Sep 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-14 22:44:58-04

OTERO COUNTY — Eric Hanagan and his family have grown crops in La Junta for 100 years, but he says "so far this year has been probably one of the most challenging" he has ever seen in his lifetime.

In March, farmers faced the highest fertilizer costs to date, according to DTN. A common fertilizer, DAP, reached $1,033.00 per ton, passing the record high price set in November 2008.

"I would call to order fertilizer and it was difficult to give any individual farmer a quote cause it would go up in price while you're on the phone," said Sam Rogge, who has worked in the crop dusting business for more than 20 years.

Rogge says many farmers were sticker shocked by the prices they had to pay for fertilizer.

"Comparing them to last year and previous years, you know, our revenues are way, way down. We're running 50% of our sales because farmers are affected by the drought, they're affected by the fertilizer and fuel prices," said Hanagan.

Prices of fertilizer have slowly but surely continued decreasing in recent months, but the impact can still be seen on grocery store receipts.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, grocery prices jumped 13.5% since this time last year. Eggs cost nearly 40% more, milk costs about 17% more, and the price of bread jumped about 16%.

"Consumers will definitely have to bear the brunt of it because if farmers can't stay economically feasible, then we gotta get our food from somewhere anyways," said Hanagan.

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