Farmers are facing many challenges, such as not enough workers, very high fuel costs, this year some bad weather that has delayed planting, "and one of the challenges that farmers face today is this issue of fertilizer," noted Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Not only low supplies but high prices as well. Vilsack said there's not a lot that can be done short term on fertilizer but on a longer term basis.

"Part of what we're doing at USDA is looking for ways in which we can and equip farmers with conservation practices that result in them needing less fertilizer, provide them with tools to be able to measure accurately the fertilizer that is being used so there is the right way and the right time and the right method and the right amount, working on sensor technology that may at some point in time encourage us not to fertilize a particular acre because it doesn't need it."

Also Vilsack said the United States is obviously too dependent on getting fertilized or materials from other countries and so USDA is launched to program designed to gather the best ideas on, "how we and the US may become more self sufficient in fertilizer"

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