Saw this in the ODT’s new site today. So we pay more for cheese, the cheese makers pay more for milk, and the farmer pays more for fertiliser.
The cost of superphosphate, agriculture’s most commonly used fertiliser, has gone past the $500 a tonne mark, nearly three times what it cost a year ago.
The fertiliser co-operative, Ravensdown, has lifted the price of superphosphate from $270 a tonne to $511 a tonne, while the other large co-operative, Ballance, has increased it from $270 to $480 a tonne.
All fertiliser products were affected by the higher prices.
Urea was now selling for over $920 a tonne, DAP over $1400 and potash over $850.
Mr Bilodeau said the higher prices would affect all farmers, but particularly income-starved sheep and beef farmers.
Most farmers had anticipated rising prices and brought forward their fertilizer programmes.
Ravensdown had held their superphosphate prices from December through to May 31 to help them.
Mr Bilodeau said the price of sulphur had increased 400% in the past year, shipping costs had soared, while imported costs had doubled in a year and now represented 80% of total operating costs.
For those that don’t know, dairy farmers put literally tons of urea nitrogen fertiliser on their paddocks to keep the grass growing.
Ever notice that sheep and beef farms have shorter grass that grows slower? Now you know why.
Even so, you’ve really got to pity sheep and beef farmers. They’re getting socked with all the costs without any of the higher income.
I guess the Greens will be happy with this one – the fertiliser that’s allowed us to farm more productivly and intensively in recent years frequently leaches into our waterways. Higher prices mean better, more careful usage and less pollution.
Whale Oil has also picked up this story.