Ukrainian Crisis' Impact On Crop Protection and Fertilizer Markets

Mar 17, 2022

Living in the Midwest, it can be easy to embrace a mindset that far-off events will have little effect on our daily lives. However, those in the agriculture industry know this is far from the truth. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine on repeat on our airwaves, many farmers have started asking important questions about how these events are going to impact an already volatile market and what challenges could arise as the growing season nears. Brett Harrison, Director of Crop Protection, and Jon Gilbert, Director of Crop Nutrition, discuss these topics and provide insight into how Agtegra plans to continue finding the best possible solutions for growers despite market challenges.

While other sectors of the industry may not have seen immediate impacts from the events of the past few weeks, an immediate spike in fertilizer prices has evidenced the market volatility at play. With world supply remaining constant, Gilbert has hope that that these prices should return to a normal level after this season.
“We’ve seen urea prices run up $200 a ton and phosphates up $150 a ton in a week’s time,” Gilbert said. “We will look for that market volatility to continue into the next month or two until we get through the spring season.”
Unlike the fertilizer market, the crop protection sector has not seen an immediate impact. Rather, Harrison sees the potential for a prolonged inflation in that market.

“In all reality, this looks like just another situation that’s going to hold this market up through 2022 and possibly into the 2023 growing season,” Harrison said.

The common question many farmers are asking is: “How do I protect my farm against this uncertainty?” Gilbert says that taking the emotion out of that decision and taking advantage of opportunities in the grain markets are key.

“Know your cost of production. Buy your inputs when it makes sense and when you can sell grain on the opposite side to protect yourself against those high costs,” Gilbert said. “We have a really great opportunity right now to lock in some historically high grain prices.”

On the crop protection side, Harrison notes how continued communication and planning, especially with commitments, can really be beneficial for both the grower and Agtegra.

“The sooner we can know that a grower is going to change their management practice from one product to another, the better for us to be able to plan and make sure we get those products in and placed right,” Harrison said. “It just helps the overall risk for making sure we can get those products sourced at an earlier time. For protecting against uncertainty, the best way is to just have that commitment early.”

Agtegra continues to work diligently to ensure growers will have the products they need when they need it.
“We’re excited about the programs we’re putting together on the consistent data we are seeing locally to be able to help secure farmers’ longevity from an ROI standpoint,” Harrison said.

Hear Gilbert and Harrison’s full discussion on crop protection and fertilizer outlooks in this video:


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