Global Fertilizer Shortage Drives Farmers to Use Manure — Quartz

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Pandemic supply chain shocks, compounded by war in Ukraine, have caused a global shortage of chemical fertilizers. With the end of the war nowhere in sight and the spring planting season in full swing in the northern hemisphere, farmers are turning to animal and plant waste instead. Manure suppliers in particular sell out. There are not enough manure to meet the demand of American farmers. The pressure is being felt globally, with UK farmers even choosing to buy treated human sewage sludge.

While domestic supply sells, manure is also traded across borders. Trade has increased since the pandemic. The main importers are the United States, France and the Netherlands.

Who imports manure

Potassium-containing fertilizers are what farmers are looking for. Potash fertilizers are used and imported much more than manure fertilizers, and although manure cannot replace all fertilizers, it is attracting more and more buyers. Imports of manure fertilizers are increasing while imports of potash fertilizers are stagnating or decreasing, especially in France and the Netherlands.

Who exports the manure

the The Netherlands is the leading exporter of manure fertilizer in the world followed by Italy and Belgium.

Countries that buy manure fertilizer use it in biological agriculture (pdf), which can be a good thing to encourage more farmers to use organic products. But manure is also high in phosphorus which can contaminate water sources if not guarded.

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