State Representative Julie Alexander, chair of the House Agriculture Committee, today led the committee in examining the causes and impact of rising fertilizer prices on Michigan farmers .
“With the help of fertilizer, Michigan farmers cultivate rich soil filled with the nutrients that many crops need,” said Alexander, R-Hanover. “Global supply chain disruptions and federal policies have caused the prices of these essential commodities to rise, which in turn is impacting the amount and type of crops farmers grow. The House Agriculture Committee will continue to dig deeper into these challenges and explore ways to help our agriculture industry – and all those it feeds.
The committee heard from Corey Rosenbusch, President and CEO of The Fertilizer Institute. He noted that many factors contribute to fertilizer prices, which have risen dramatically in recent years. Rosenbusch spoke of the disruptions in production and trade that have affected the fertilizer market.
Scott Swinton, a distinguished university professor at Michigan State University and chair of the university’s Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, told the committee how U.S. tariffs have increased the cost of phosphate fertilizers from Morocco and Russia. Import tariffs raise the price for U.S. farmers buying fertilizer, he said.
Other witnesses included Gary Parr, an Eaton County farmer and Michigan Soybean Association board member; Angel Jenio, director of communications for the Michigan Corn Growers Association; and John Delmotte, a Monroe County farmer. Delmotte testified remotely from his tractor while he was sowing corn.
“Our committee heard from Michigan farmers, a national fertilizer industry leader, an academic, and a corn industry representative from our state,” Alexander said. “I am grateful to those who shared their expertise in the fertilizer market and their personal stories.”
During the hearing, the committee also approved two measures calling for action at the federal and state levels to alleviate problems in the fertilizer market. House Resolution 205 would urge Congress, federal agencies, and Michigan departments “to address the continuing fertilizer price increases and shortages affecting Michigan farmers.” HR 289 would specifically urge federal legislation allowing farmers to petition the federal government “to temporarily remove import duties on fertilizers and fertilizer ingredients imported from Morocco.”
The resolutions are now submitted to the entire House of Representatives for consideration.