Agricultural Research Division of IANR


Date of this Version

Spring 2009


The past two years have seen major changes in crop production costs, especially fertilizer. What happened? Why did this happen? What's projected for 2009? Will fertilizer be available?
Fertilizer is truly an international commodity, so what happens in the Middle East, India, China and in former Soviet Union Republics like the Ukraine (Yuzhny) influences your local prices.
By September 2008, nitrogen prices had tripled compared to two years earlier. But since last fall, prices have dropped just like the stock market. World demand for fertilizer had risen 14 percent in the past few years (primarily from South America, China and India), which drove up prices. U.S. ethanol mandates increased demand for N because of increased corn acreage, as corn uses 45 percent of all N fertilizer. When the financial crisis spread around the world in September 2008, it also affected demand for fertilizer, causing significant price drops in world prices.

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