Farmers are worried about the upcoming seed season due to rising fertilizer prices CBC News

Farmers across the Atlantic region say their operating costs have increased significantly with the import of fertilizers from Russia under approval, and some are looking for alternatives.

“We’re pretty disappointed with the whole thing this year, it’s really stressful,” said Brian Adams, owner of Hildel Potato Inc. in New Denmark near Grand Falls.

Adams said he paid about 700 700 per tonne of fertilizer last year and is quoting 1, 1,300 per tonne this year.

“All costs have gone up this year, machine repairs, fertilizers or sprays,” he said. “It will dramatically increase our production costs.”

Adams estimates that its operating costs will increase by more than 60 percent overall this year.

Dependence on imports

The Atlantic provinces rely heavily on fertilizer imports from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

About 85 to 90 percent of all nitrogen fertilizers used in the eastern provinces come from Russia, says Karen Proud, CEO of Fertilizer Canada.

He says sanctions currently imposed on Russia have hampered the availability of these materials, including potash, nitrogen and phosphorus, across Canada.

“We were already facing a pretty tight season with the supply of fertilizer, which made it even worse,” Garb says.

He said farmers across the country were desperately trying to supply fertilizer elsewhere.

Fertilizer Canada CEO Karen Proud said the supply of fertilizer for the season was already tight before the ban was imposed. (Fertilizer submitted by Canada)

“We are concerned that we are only four to six weeks away from the sowing season.”

Pride said about 30 to 40 shipments of fertilizer were already en route to Canada at the time of the imposition of sanctions on Russia.

However, only those who had already reached Canadian waters were allowed to dock, and the rest had even more dire consequences.

“These will now be subject to sanctions and either they will not be able to come at all or, if they do, they will be subject to a 35 per cent duty,” Pride said.

He said he supports sanctions by Canada and its allies, but has an impact on fertilizer supplies and prices.

According to Fertilizer Canada, the fertilizer sector contributes about 23 23 billion to the economy each year.

Alternatives required

In Prince Edward Island, the Potato Board reports that farmers are seeing a 75 percent to 100 percent increase in fertilizer prices this year.

For this reason, farmers in the region have had to find alternative solutions to common fertilizers or limit their adoption.

Louis MacDonald, co-owner of M&M Farming Company Limited in Newfoundland and Labrador, says he is looking at ways to supplement the fertilizer with local ingredients.

“In the long run we need to look at alternative methods, perhaps supplemented with other items such as seaweed, or liquid fertilizer,” he told CBC News.

Known as residues, they are often made from wood ash, fish bones, seashells, and other industrial by-products, including seaweed.

A Nova Scotia company, LP Consulting, is already producing these fertilizer residues at a cost of about $ 160 per tonne to farmers.

Some fertilizer distributors say demand will be met this year, but the long-term effects of the ban are most worrying. (Submitted by Dennis Schwartdo)

“The return on investment this year is astronomical,” said Misty Crony, LP Consulting Vice President. “We’re doing a lot of work with the rest of the maritime province.”

Crony said residues are not as concentrated as chemical fertilizers, so farmers need them more.

Still, it’s a cheap alternative.

Crony said farmers weren’t interested in changing residues in the past, but he noticed they were starting to show interest.

Atlantic players try to meet the demand

McCain Fertilizer in New Brunswick, and Agromart Group in Prince Edward Island and Cavendish Agri Services, some of the largest fertilizer companies on the East Coast.

John McKinnon, general manager of Cavendish Agri Services, told CBC News that he is confident the company will meet fertilizer demand this season, but is uncertain about the long-term impact on supply.

“Like many organizations, we keep an eye on ever-changing world market conditions to plan for the growing seasons of the future,” McKinnon said in an email statement.

Solio Agriculture in Quebec supplies fertilizer to farms across Atlantic Canada.

CEO Caspar Castra called the situation an “awakening” for the sector.

“Some traditional trade routes are expected to evolve and change. In the future, some countries will purchase fertilizer products from Russia, and this will make them less dependent on sources of supply from other regions.” Castra said.

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