One concern you may have if you’re a Hoosier farmer is the price you’re paying now for fertilizer, or even being able to get it. The price of anhydrous has shot up 210% since Sept. 2020 and liquid nitrogen is up over 159%, according to Farm Bureau. When you consider that fertilizer makes up about 15% of what farmers spend as part of their expenses, that certainly could eat into a lot of farm budgets.
“The availability of it concerns me a little more than the price is right now,” says Matthew Tobias, who farms over a hundred acres near Flat Rock in southwestern Shelby County with his wife, Michelle.
Tobias says he’s willing to pay more for fertilizer as long as the grain markets are up and he’s getting more money in return for his crops.
“I think with these prices that we’re seeing right now in corn and soybeans, the fertilizer makes sense to go ahead and keep putting it on. Crops don’t grow without fertilizer. We need to keep our ground nutrition up. We’ve done a good job I feel like in the last several years of trying to build our organic material and try to keep our fertilization program in tip top shape,” says Tobias.
But Tobias says getting fertilizer is only one of the supply-chain obstacles he’s had to overcome.
“Getting parts has been a little bit of struggle on rebuilding planters this winter. Fortunately, we’ve been able to get them,” says Tobias.
Even though he’s concerned about the rising operating costs for his farm, Tobias says he is optimistic about this year and the years to come.
“All of our inputs are locked in already for this coming year. [We’re] trying to start locking at some prices for this fall. We’ve got our break-even price points that we want to make sure we hit or capitalize on in some of this upturn in the economy right now. I think 2023 [and] 2024 [are] our growth opportunities and [I’m] just looking forward for it.”
Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s report and conversation with Shelby County farmer Matthew Tobias.