Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityReasons fertilizer prices are continuing to increase
Real Audio (Real Player required)
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» April 17, 2007 «
Farmers say nitrogen fertilizer has almost doubled in cost in two years. The increase is caused by world demand for fertilizer and the nationwide increase in corn planting as that commodity requires more fertilizer. The Western Plant Health Association says homeowners can expect to pay more for lawn and garden fertilizer. As long as demand for fertilizer continues strong and natural gas prices remain high, the association expects prices to continue to increase into the near future.
Rising production costs and tight surface water supplies affect farming decisions about which crops to plant. Growers can expect only half of their Central Valley Project water in the San Joaquin Valley this summer. Many have signed contracts to grow corn for grain for good prices. Growers know they face higher production costs, as they must run pumps to provide well water for their crops. Diesel and fertilizer costs have more than doubled so farmers are planting crops such as corn that promise higher returns.
Artichoke production is nearing its peak. The main growing region around Castroville escaped heavy rain last week. The California Artichoke Advisory Board says the plants are producing excellent quality artichokes in large volumes. Consumers may find artichokes at lower prices over the next three weeks, as prices to growers have declined as volume picked up. Although artichokes are available most of the year, the high volume usually is reduced in May.
Green almonds are now available in stores frequented by various ethnic groups. The immature nuts are picked and shipped in spring shortly after they are formed. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern groups consider them a delicacy as they pair well with their foods. They'll be available from now until mid-May. Almond handlers say the market is very small, making up less than one percent of the total almond production.Top