Input costs may have come down a bit, but they’re still putting the squeeze on many producers across the PNW.  The question is when will prices return to “normal”?


Corey Rosenbusch, president and CEO of the D.C-based Fertilizer Institute, called it a perfect storm of factors that brought about these skyrocketing prices.  And he noted the market is still unpredictable.


“When you look at production numbers we're back up to where we need to be and above.  I still believe that we have to watch what goes on in Europe because that's what's going to impact supply, demand, and trade flows so for example if they aren't able to produce nitrogen fertilizer in Europe they're going to have to pull that from somewhere.  Is china going to lift its ban and that means they're back in the marketplace?  Are we going to become suddenly a nitrogen exporter because the markets going to dictate that they can get you know a higher premium in Europe.  That to me is where I think we're really going to have to watch now and look forward to what that's going to the marketplace.”


But when the discussion turned to climate-smart practices, he says fertilizer has a golden opportunity to be at the center of the talks.


“Especially with bio stimulants, enhanced efficiency fertilizers urease inhibitors, slow-release nitrogen, all of these products are just growing exponentially and I think that is that is the future, I think that's where we're going to watch.   I don't believe that any of our major fertilizer manufacturers are scared of that I think they're embracing it because it doesn't eliminate the need for nitrogen, it just really makes sure we're being smart in efficiency and its use.  All you have to do is look at some of those behaviors of buying up those technologies by some of those large fertilizer producers to see where their bets going.”


Rosenbusch added it’s really hard right now for a retailer and a farmer to understand which of those products are going to work and which of those are just ideas and concepts at this point.


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