The organic fertilizer industry is booming in the U.S., and as farmers and farmers markets sprout in cities across the country, they are pushing for organic fertilization to become the new norm.
This has left farmers with little choice but to turn to cheaper fertilizers, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
And it has also made organic fertilizing less affordable for those in the bottom income bracket.
“We’ve seen an increase in the cost of organic fertilizer, which is causing farmers to shift to fertilizers that have higher costs,” said Michael Buell, director of research at Pew Research.
Farmers in places like Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana are now using cheaper fertilization.
“Farmers in these places are looking at fertilizers in the $100 range and they’re looking to save $100 or $200 on their fertilizers,” said Buelden.
“So that’s the tipping point.”
The problem is that the organic fertilizations that farmers are using now are much cheaper.
“It’s kind of a free lunch for farmers,” said Mark Smeeding, president of the Organic Seed Growers Association.
“You’re not really getting the benefits of the technology if you’re not using the technology.
It’s basically a free product.
You’re buying an expensive product that is basically being used as a supplement.”
Organic fertilizers can be made at home, with the help of a few tools, and are also sold at farmers markets.
However, a study by Pew found that just two percent of farmers who bought fertilizers online actually used them on their farms.
It found that the average cost of a new fertilizer was $100 per ounce, which puts organic fertilizes out of reach for many farmers.
“The costs of fertilizer are so high,” said Smeeting.
“They’re very high.
They’re just beyond our ability to get our hands on, especially with the economy.
They just don’t make economic sense.”
Some farmers are also switching to cheaper, synthetic fertilizers.
“There’s a trend toward using cheaper, cheaper fertilizer in the past year or so, which could be good news for farmers who don’t have the capacity to use those expensive fertilizers because it’s cheaper,” said Joel Siegel, president and CEO of the National Organic Coalition.
“But there are a lot of people that are not getting those cheap products.
That is an issue, and that’s why we need to do some work on it.”
While some farmers are getting organic fertilizers, others are using cheaper synthetic fertilization options.
“If we’re going to move to organic fertilized fertilizer, we need all of our farmers to have those products available to them,” said J.H. Taylor, executive director of the Iowa Farm Bureau.
The Pew report found that farmers have been buying cheaper synthetic fertilizer in the last year, but it’s only a fraction of the synthetic fertilizer used in the industry.
“I think we’re seeing an even bigger trend,” said Taylor.
“Farms that have synthetic fertilized fertilizers on their properties are paying more than they would have paid for the same amount of fertilizer had they not had those products on their property.”
A big reason why farmers are switching to the cheaper fertilized alternatives is that they don’t see any reason why they should keep buying them.
“At the end of the day, organic fertil is better,” said Matt Pate, president-elect of the American Fertilizer Association.
Pate is also CEO of PPG Industries, which owns several organic fertilize factories in the country.
He’s worried that farmers in the low-income communities where organic fertilisers are more expensive are not being adequately compensated for the costs.
“Organic fertilizers are a cost that you have to bear in mind,” said Pate.
“For many farmers, it’s not a cost at all.
And the fact that you’re paying the price you’re going into organic fertilizer is going to be a detriment.”
The Organic Seed Business Association is working with several organic fertilizer manufacturers to get organic fertilization to farmers and other customers as soon as possible.
“These new fertilizers have to be tested, they have to have the same certification standards that organic fertilizable products have to,” said Josh Vesely, president, the Organic Seeds Business Association.
But the organic fertilizer market is also becoming increasingly competitive with synthetic fertilizations.
“This is a really good opportunity to bring organic fertilities out of the basement into the market and get a better product to consumers,” said Veseley.
“And that is what we’re hoping to achieve.”
According to the USDA, organic fertilizer sales in the United States rose from $1.3 billion in 2013 to $6.8 billion in 2018.
And as of December, organic farming was responsible for about $2.5 billion in annual organic farming profits. “In