Elyse Gabor | March 1,2022
The extreme rise in fertilizer prices is causing a decrease in corn production for the upcoming growing season and harming farmers. On Thursday, Attorney General Tom Miller announced that they would investigate the rise in prices.
In the past year, many fertilizers have doubled or tripled in cost. Miller’s office frequently looks into companies that inflate their profits and rates due to low competition. He has requested data from major fertilizer companies to try and explain the increase in prices.
On Thursday, Miller said, “It’s possible that these increases could be legal, but not justified, not right.”
The investigation will be sped up as spring and the start of the growing season is near, but it is expected to last many months. Miller hopes that bringing awareness to the situation will discourage an unjust rise in prices.
Miller has found research that suggests that the price of fertilizers rises in years that farmers brought in higher revenue.
“If that’s what’s going on, we want to find out about that. That may not be illegal, but it’s not a good policy,” said Miller.
Last year, farmers said they received quotes on fertilizers multiple times higher than in the past years. Since corn yields are high enough to support the increase in prices, Iowa’s corn production will have a delayed effect. Other states that lack fertile soil may choose to plant other crops.