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Fertilizer Shortage Affecting Tennessee Valley Farmers

LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. (WHNT) – The latest industry to be hit by supply chain issues – agriculture.

With a global fertilizer shortage, farmers around the world need to change tactics to ensure they have a good crop to harvest and sell. However, the impacts of the shortage will go far beyond what is happening on farms.

Josh Ogle is co-owner of D&J River Farms, the multi-generational family business that grows cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat. Luckily for him, they were ahead of the supply chain curve.

“We were lucky to be able to start a little earlier this year in the spring and do our business a little faster,” Ogle told News 19.

The prices of the ingredients that go into synthetic fertilizers are skyrocketing. According to Green Markets, prices have almost tripled since the start of the pandemic.

“I guess when I bought Feb…21 for that crop, so this year we tripled nitrogen prices, and we pretty much doubled potash and phosphate and it’s been even higher since, probably another 15%, maybe 20% on some items,” Ogle continued.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, supply chain issues caused by storms and high natural gas prices are contributing factors.

“Of course, this is a global economy and a global marketplace that we find ourselves in right now,” Ogle said. “So not only is it affecting me, it’s all over the world.”

Ogle says fertilizer for crop production is what you see on store shelves – every aspect is intertwined.

“The price of corn will affect what chicken is going to cost in the store, what beef may cost in the store,” Ogle concluded. “And then you know it can also take a turn to accommodate the milk that will cost in the store and unfortunately for some of those farmers at the back we don’t see as much of an increase as what the stores are going to being able to get it through and just because of the shortages.

Ogle said the bottom line is that this is a global market and we’re all in this together.


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Sara Adm

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