We are approaching the end of 2021 – this past year or so of the Pandemic has been rough on us all in so many respects. Things seemed to be returning to normalcy a little this year, didn’t they? Businesses were kicking back up, everything seemed to be on the upswing. Now…economically…there are pressures coming from all sides.
Gas prices have risen, as have the prices of products such as food and apparel, as well as the prices of seasonal toys.
We are suffering the consequences in the lawn care sector as well. Fertilizer prices increased by at least 80% between 2020 and 2021, raising worries that things would get worse before they get better. Fertilizer is in limited supply across the world, causing prices to skyrocket in 2022.
How are supply chain issues affecting the lawn care industry?
1. Natural Gas:
Natural gas alone may account for up to 70% of fertilizer costs.
Fertilizer’s three primary components are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as we all know. There are several nitrogen sources, with Uria being the most often used in the lawn care sector. Uria is made from natural gas.
To put this in context, the price of natural gas has risen by more than 180% in 2021 alone. As you may expect, this is strongly related to the cost of fertilizer. Uria and potassium prices have increased by 160% in the same period.
2. Global Markets:
China is the world’s greatest nitrogen fertilizer producer. China has slowed their production of uria/fertilizers as a result of the cost of natural gas being so high. Instead of exporting as much, they are keeping much more of the supply within their border. This is putting a significant pressure on the US supply, since most fertilizer products in the US are imported.
Unfortunately, dryness is also contributing to the increase in the cost of fertilizer goods. Many hydroelectric dams throughout the world have not been able to produce as much electricity, causing us to use more expensive energy sources like natural gas as a whole.
3. Imports/Supply Chain:
As you may have heard, several of LA’s cargo ports are congested. This dramatically affects what you, the consumer, is going to pay for fertilization services next year.
In October of this year, about 80 barges were frequently backed up in Los Angeles’ San Pedro Bay, anxiously waiting to offload their cargo in a huge traffic bottleneck.
A year ago it cost about $2,500 to bring a container on a barge from Asia. Currently, it may cost up to $25,000.
After the barges’ cargo is eventually unloaded, it is transported to a freight truck. Trucks are presently another bottleneck in our supply chain. We are around 80,000 CDL drivers short as a nation.
At the end of the day, it requires gasoline to make fertilizer, and we must remember that growing fuel prices effect so many contact points throughout the supply chain, from putting the supplies on a barge, to a truck, to a distributor, to companies, and finally to you, the consumer.
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Green Meadow Lawn Care has been providing premium fertilization programs, tick treatment, mosquito management, seeding & aeration, and tree & shrub care to customers in the greater Tolland, Connecticut region since 2007. re.
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Please contact to talk with our Customer Service Manager. Dave If you have any queries, please contact (see Dave’s video bio here). Dave has been in the industry for 30 years and is always happy to help with his expert advice.
Will fertilizer prices go down in 2023?
Recent Fertilizer Prices
Anhydrous ammonia prices have consistently fallen from $1,434 per ton on November 3rd, 2022 to $1,237 per ton on February 23rd, 2023, a $197 per ton or roughly 14% decrease (see Figure 1).
Will fertilizer prices come down?
When it came to fertilizer last year, news of shortages and skyrocketing prices affected farm operations everywhere. Nevertheless, when it comes to obtaining the fertilizer you need for your farm this year, availability may not be a problem.
Is it cheaper to fertilize your own lawn?
So is it Really Cheaper to DIY? In reality, purchasing your own fertilizer saves you 10% to 15% more than employing a professional lawn care operator. Yet, when you include in the expense of liquid weed treatment and your time, hiring a lawn care provider is really less expensive.
Is there a shortage of lawn fertilizer?
Farmers need improved access to fertilizer to avoid a food crisis, but high costs and low supply of fertilizer will continue for another year. Fertilizing the land will be challenging in 2023. Same fertilizer scarcity in the new year.