Federal Bill Aims To Lower Fertilizer Prices

This week, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin joined U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa in leading a bipartisan push to help lower the cost of fertilizer.

The Midwest senators’ Fertilizer Research Act would require USDA to conduct a study on competition and trends in the fertilizer market to determine their subsequent impacts on price. Baldwin explains that shedding light on market factors driving the cost of fertilizer can help drive policy to lower those costs.

Why fertilizer? Baldwin says fertilizer accounted for over 30 percent of last growing season’s input costs. Yet, farmers have little insight into how prices are determined.

“Wisconsin’s farmers work long hours year-round to provide food for our families, but in recent years, they have faced tough economic headwinds, including the high cost of fertilizer,” she says. “This hurts their bottom lines, our rural communities, and American consumers, and we need to do more to address rising input costs for our agricultural industry.”

The Fertilizer Research Act is endorsed by the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.

About The Bill

Within one year of the bill’s passage, the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the Economic Research Council, must issue a report on USDA’s website regarding the U.S. fertilizer industry.

Specifically, the report should include:

  • A description of impacts on the fertilizer market that influence price;
  • Market trends in the past 25 years;
  • A description of the imported fertilizer and market impacts;
  • Impacts of anti-dumping and countervailing duties;
  • A study of fertilizer industry concentration;
  • A study of emerging fertilizer technologies; and
  • A description of whether current public price reporting is sufficient for market transparency.