YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Manure supplies dwindle as fertilizer prices soar
By Gary Joiner
The soaring cost of commercial fertilizer has Texas growers exploring options.
One option—put out less fertilizer than normal and hope higher commodity prices will financially offset the expected lower yields.
The reality is applying a normal amount of commercial fertilizer does not pencil-out for many famers right now. Commercial fertilizer prices reached a record high in March, with nitrogen fertilizer jumping four-fold since 2020 and phosphate and potash up three-fold.
Another option is applying livestock manure and poultry litter to their fields. It can replace some of the nutrient shortfall. The problem with that option, though—there’s not enough manure and litter to meet the demand. And the price of the products is higher than normal, because of it.
Farmers and ranchers who worked before to dispose of animal waste are now using more of it themselves. Plus, the products represent a new market and revenue opportunity if they have any for sale.
Livestock manure and poultry litter are products that have traditionally helped the bottom line of many farms and ranches. That is especially true now.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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