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Fertilisers: Prices

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL6919, tabled on 11 March 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the increase in fertiliser prices on the cost of (1) agricultural, and (2) horticultural, produce for the domestic market.

Answered on

25 March 2022

Due to the increase in cost of natural gas across the globe, a key feedstock for the production of nitrogen-based fertiliser products including ammonium nitrate, the cost of production of these fertiliser types has increased significantly. It has also affected Europe and the global market with some fertiliser companies halting or reducing production due to high input costs, leading to some countries such as China reducing the export of some fertiliser products to protect their domestic demands.

The situation and impacts on farmers in particular, and industry more widely, of current high fertiliser prices, are being monitored closely. We will continue to engage with industry and farmers to understand any potential pressures and options to mitigate any risks. We understand from industry intelligence that the vast majority of fertiliser needs for this planting season have been met.

There are nutrient management techniques and technologies that can be used alongside fertiliser products that help the efficacy of fertilisers and help maintain high yield and good quality produce. Support in the form of guidance from fertiliser suppliers and agricultural organisations such as National Farmers Union can be found from various public sources. Defra is aware that the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board has published many helpful public pieces of guidance, advice and webinar recordings on mitigating high fertiliser prices.