Microbe’s Mic Drop Moment

May 10, 2022

A (not so) dynamic duo: Skyrocketing fertilizer prices and lack of availability have many farmers concerned for this season. According to the Purdue Ag Economy Barometer, 26% of farmers surveyed are having difficulty with fertilizer availability.  

Average fertilizer costs are skyrocketing, and in some cases, breaking records.

A look at the numbers:

  • DAP: $1,049/ton
  • MAP: $1,082/ton (all-time high)
  • Potash: $881/ton,
  • 10-34-0: $906/ton
  • Anhydrous: $1,534/ton (all-time high)
  • UAN32: $730/ton (all-time high).

The (Russian) elephant in the room: “Prices for most fertilizers continued their rise in April. Supply concerns and related price increases were particularly high for nitrogen fertilizers due to the large role of the Russian Federation in nitrogen fertilizer exports and supply shortages in western Europe.” – Agricultural Market Information System

Big solutions in a tiny package: With wrinkles in price and supply of traditional fertilizers, farmers are thinking micro. Some companies—like Pivot Bio, Kula Bio, Anuvia, and more—are working to create alternative fertilizer options that use microbes to deliver nutrients to crops. Many of them have reported a surge in requests from farmers, who are hoping to find a biological alternative to the now-extremely-costly traditional fertilizers. 

So with no sign of price relief this year, there’s nothing micro about the potential of those microbes.