WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and 17 other Republican senators today urged President Biden to implement certain measures to lower fertilizer costs, which have been on the rise due to the supply chain bottleneck and the current energy crisis. These measures include increasing domestic natural gas production, approving pending LNG permits, eliminating cross-border vaccine mandates, working with stakeholders to prevent a Canadian Pacific Railway strike, and expediting relief funding for farmers facing financial difficulty.
“Ongoing supply-chain bottlenecks and the rising cost of energy are among the factors sending fertilizer prices soaring, and disruptions stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will only compound the problem,” said the senators. “As a result, Americans will pay more at restaurants, grocery stores, and other places.”
“We are therefore urging your administration to review all available options to lower the cost of fertilizer…to partially remedy the high costs of fertilizer impacting American farmers and ultimately American consumers,” continued the senators.
Cassidy and Hagerty are joined by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), John Cornyn (R-TX) John Hoeven (R-ND), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), James Inhofe (R-OK), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Richard Burr (R-NC), and John Kennedy (R-LA).
Read the full letter here or below.
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to express our serious concern regarding record-high fertilizer prices impacting American farmers going into the spring planting season. Fertilizer is a primary input and major expense for producers across the country, and price increases will have a significant effect on farm profitability and the prices of food and consumer products.
Since January 2021, according to the most recent data from the United States Department of Agricultural Marketing Services, the prices of key fertilizer sources have substantially increased as follows: anhydrous ammonia (by 203%); Urea (by 141%); liquid nitrogen (162%); monoammonium phosphate (MAP) (by 74%); potash (by 125%); and farm diesel (by 95%).
Ongoing supply-chain bottlenecks and the rising cost of energy are among the factors sending fertilizer prices soaring, and disruptions stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will only compound the problem. As a result, Americans will pay more at restaurants, grocery stores, and other places.
We are therefore urging your administration to review all available options to lower the cost of fertilizer, including but not limited to: eliminating the cross-border vaccine mandate for transporters of essential commerce; engaging stakeholders to prevent a Canadian Pacific Railway strike; urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to use its existing authorities under the food supply chain and pandemic response resources to provide support for farmers facing financial difficulties ensuring agricultural minerals like phosphate and potash are part of the Department of the Interior’s List of Critical Minerals; increasing U.S. gas production; and approving pending export permits at the Department of Energy for Liquefied Natural Gas.
Quickly undertaking such measures is the most immediate—and perhaps only—near-term opportunity to partially remedy the high costs of fertilizer impacting American farmers and ultimately American consumers. Thank you for your attention to this matter.