The last couple of months have been difficult for many Georgia growers. Rising input costs, uncertainties in the market, supply chains issues, rapidly rising energy costs, inflation, changes in weather events, and life in general. Growers frequently lean on the different ag associations to collectively voice many of their concerns and rightfully so. The last couple of weeks have been very busy for the Georgia Corn Growers Association particularly leading up to the 2022 Commodity Classic. This year over 8,000 growers, exhibitors and ag businesses attended the event in New Orleans, La.
If you have not heard of the Commodity Classic, it was established in 1996, and is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational event, produced annually by the following organizations: National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.
At this event, I saw several Georgia growers in attendance and heard many dinner table chats, coffee break discussions, speaker presentations and educational programs. Most all these centered around what ag industry future looked like, new discoveries or products, world events, ROIs, prices, and input costs. Time went by rather fast. After finishing
But the weight of what Georgia growers and others in the U.S. face, remained with all those traveling back home. One of the most concerning topics was rising input cost and supply chain problems. At the meeting, many growers expressed feeling that there doesn’t seem to be much competitive pricing in the agriculture industry particularly with fertilizer, chemical and seed.
Given these concerns, I am directing your attention to the information below. I hope that all readers (growers, extension agents, industry reps, and others) will take the time to make comments to USDA. This is a link to a public inquiry focused on the vary issue we face.
USDA Seeks Public Comment to Identify Anti-Competitive Market Structures and Practices in Fertilizer, Seed and Agricultural Inputs, and Retail Markets | Agricultural Marketing Service
“On March 11, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched a public inquiryaimed at addressing farmers’ and ranchers’ growing concerns regarding seeds and agricultural inputs, fertilizer, and retail markets. The requests for information stem from the July 9, from the July 9, 2021, Executive Order on “Promoting Competition in the American Economy.”
USDA is seeking information specifically on:
- Seed and agricultural inputs, as they relate to the intellectual property system.
- Retail, including access for agricultural producers and smaller processors through wholesale and distribution markets.
The comment periods are open for 60 days. Comments can be submitted to regulations.gov and must be received no later than May 16, 2022. “
I hope all who read this will take the time to comment to USDA regarding some of our immediate issues and concerns. The one thing that is important to recognize in making comments to USDA is that our local independent or regional/national retailers such as Nutrien, R.W.Griffin, Greenpoint Ag, Meherrin Ag, and others like them are also caught in the middle of this. They are our neighbors, friends, kin folks, moms, dads, and children. I am thankful that they are there trying to provide products for us to use at a competitive and reasonable price. While some of them may be owned by the larger global corporations, these decisions (per the point of this blog and my statements) are not made at the local level. That is why we can’t get pricing over a day or week delivery. It is out of their hands. The local dealer wants you, us, we to prosper and have good returns on our investments with them…because if you succeed, they can succeed. They want you as a future customer. What is happening now, they don’t like it either. I therefore invite them to make comments as well. I expect they can’t say much in fear of reprisals.
With this said, I will direct you to a study that Georgia Corn Growers supported with 20 other organizations to study the rise on N pricing on U.S. Corn Growers and published over a month ago. The paper clearly demonstrates that N pricing has tracked corn prices and not natural gas. Please send me an email (email@example.com) and I will send you another study that was conducted on phosphorus and basically demonstrates the same thing.