REGINA – This week, the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) submitted an urgent request to the Federal Standing Committee on Agriculture & Agri-Food calling for an immediate investigation of the excessive increases in the pricing of fertilizers.
APAS stated in their submission that agriculture producers in the western provinces have already paid record prices for fertilizer for the 2008 crop year. The membership of APAS have reported that fertilizer prices are continuing to increase week over week; which is unprecedented for this time of year in the crop cycle.
APAS President, Glenn Blakley stated recent reports from the association's members indicate that fertilizer prices, which are continuing to escalate across the province, are at least 50 percent higher than during the peak of the 2008 spring seeding demand. Cost projections from fertilizer dealers in Saskatchewan are an additional price increase of 30 percent for fertilizer purchases for the fall of 2008.
Grains and oilseed producers from across Western Canada must choose to either lock in current fertilizer prices by paying in advance (with additional interest costs for most) or wait and pay the higher projected price for their fall purchases. “The net negative effect on producers is a combination of not only the additional financial burden of next years' fertilizer costs - but no guarantee that they will even generate enough revenue to cover the cost of production for their current crop year.” exclaimed Blakley, “Producers are being subject to unfair additional burdens by having to carry the increased costs, including storage and interest payments; as well as all of the risk of a downturn in the current markets.”
APAS's letter to the Standing Committee request an immediate and thorough investigation of the fertilizer industry's pricing and practices. Otherwise, the costs incurred by producers will jeopardize the grains and oilseed industry, and will contribute to decreases in production. Economic market indicators from Stats Canada suggest that this will contribute to additional increases in the costs for food.
For further information, contact:
Don Connick, President
Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan
Office : (306) 789-7774 Cell: (306) 672-8208