Strike Delayed, Prices Down; Are Iowa Farmers In The Clear?
Farmers are finally seeing relief as fertilizer prices start to trend downward.
High fertilizer prices are nothing new. These price increases have led Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller to investigate these price spikes. This investigation led Iowa State University to look into the causes of these increases.
Looking at the DTN retail fertilizer price trends, retail fertilizer prices continue to trend downward for the end of October and early November 2022.
According to DTN, at $826/ton, the average retail price for urea is only 1 percent higher than it was last year.
But prices aren’t the only challenge farmers are facing when it comes to fertilizer.
It’s another looming rail strike.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the threat of a rail strike in November has been delayed until early December.
In a recent announcement Association of American Railroads announced that BMWED has extended its cooling-off period to align with other rail unions that have yet to ratify their tentative agreements.
This comes after tensions were high this week awaiting any announcement of avoided rail strikes. The Fertilizer Institute even wrote another letter to congressional leaders to act against a possible rail strike.
Back in September, a last-minute, tentative agreement was reached that stopped a possible rail strike, however, if an agreement wasn't reached, a strike would have begun as soon as November 19th. Fertilizer shipments would have been embargoed as soon as November 14th.
As stated in the letter to congressional leaders from the Fertilizer Institute on Monday;
“If Congress does not impose the TAs reached in September or if the “status quo” period is not extended, a rail strike and network shutdown will occur on Nov. 19. As was done in September, certain commodities shipped by rail will be embargoed about 5 days prior to a network shutdown. This includes embargoes of anhydrous ammonia,2 which TFI estimates would begin as early as Nov. 14.”
So, while decreasing prices is a welcoming sight, we aren’t out of the dark completely when it comes to fertilizer.