Sam Graves-We Need Fertilizer More than Solar Panels

August 04, 2022

Dear Friend,

Like everything else in this country, the price of fertilizer has gone through the roof. Last year, we were paying around $400 a ton for anhydrous ammonia. This spring, it was over $1,500 a ton.

That’s a huge deal, and not just for those of us that farm for a living. It impacts everyone in this country—at least everyone who likes to eat. When input costs skyrocket like this, it forces farmers to make tough decisions. Many have chosen to try to stretch their fertilizer a little further this year. That’s going to mean lower yields this fall, less crops going to market, and higher food prices for Americans to come.

How did we get here? Well, the Biden Administration’s war on American energy production has driven up the price of electricity and natural gas—which is what most nitrogen fertilizers are made from. That, combined with the supply chain crisis that President Biden refuses to acknowledge still exists, has created a nightmare for farmers.

To make matters worse, for some reason the Biden Administration has leveed new taxes on phosphate fertilizers imported from Morocco. They tried to do the same on urea ammonium nitrate imports from Trinidad and Tobago but got cold feet after I called them out on it. But those taxes on phosphate imports are still in place.

That’s not even the worst part about it. Back in June, President Biden issued an emergency declaration lifting taxes on the importation of solar cells and modules from several southeast Asian countries, including the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Yet, he’s completely ignored calls to use that same authority to lift taxes on fertilizer imports that our farmers depend on to feed this country.

That’s a huge slap in the face to the family farmers the President promised to protect. Last I checked, we don’t need solar panels from Vietnam to feed this country, but we darn sure need affordable fertilizer to keep the grocery shelves stocked.


Sam Graves