Fertilizer prices rising across the Ozarks amid shortages, inflation and war between Russia and Ukraine

Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 9:37 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2022 at 9:40 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - If you are looking to do some landscaping anytime soon, you may notice a bit of a price hike.

The cost of fertilizer has gradually risen throughout the pandemic, and increasing costs of such goods do not look to be slowing anytime soon.

Landscaping and gardening shops in Springfield say they are feeling the impact of supply shortages, inflation and even war between Russia and Ukraine. American Grower’s Supply owner John Waddell said the price of his fertilizer supply has increased.

”Cost is going up,” Waddell said. “It’s up about probably 50% on our end. So it’s hard to not pass that on.”

He said it can be a little harder to sell certain items like fertilizer right now, but the cost is beyond his control.

”It’s a compounded scenario with multiple additives that have created such a high price on us being able to pull stuff in,” Waddell said.

It’s not just skyrocketing fuel prices causing all the trouble.

”The prices have gone up on fuel,” started Shawn Jones, owner of 417 Mowing. “But they’ve gone up on the equipment, they’ve gone up on the labor. This is the most that I’ve ever seen in my last 30 years of mowing, the biggest increase one year to the next. It’s everything across the board.”

Jones said some of his supplier’s products have gone up quite a bit. A few of his fertilizers have gone up between 50% to more than 150%. On top of expensive fertilizer prices, Jones said the grass seed his business purchases now costs 80% more than it used to.

Supply issues are part of the challenges these days.

”Just having the resources available, and the transportation to get it where it needs to go,” Jones described. “It’s pretty much across the board on everything that we’re having to deal with from chemical products to the actual machines that we use to put it down.”

Not surprisingly, the war between Russia and Ukraine has made it worse. John Waddell carries an organic fertilizer produced in Russia.

“Anything back in Russia, they said it’s probably not even coming,” Waddell said. “So this will be a product very hard to get. We do have a little bit, but the point is, you know, trying to have stuff on hand for people to have the products that they are actually looking for is becoming harder for people like us.”

Landscaping companies and garden shops say some people are cutting back on fertilizer right now.

“We have seen some people deciding to not fertilize this year, just based off the fact of all of their prices are going up on all of their regular consumer goods,” Jones said. “And when you get to the fertilizer and the weed control, that’s going to be a little bit of a luxury item versus the mowing. That’s more just a maintenance item.”

Shops say there can be an alternative to fertilizer, if you have access to the right resources.

“It really all depends I think more on where you live,” Waddell said. “Anybody in a rural setting can make their own compost. They can create their own soils. They can add charcoal, which is bio-char, to the earth. They can turn and make practically a living soil on their own property.”

Landscaping companies like 417 Mowing have started stocking up on fertilizer and grass seed for next fall, as they anticipate continued shortages.

“With production issues that they’re having and droughts in Oregon, actual seed production is going to be down,” Jones said. “So we might be seeing shortages that come in the fall.”

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

Copyright 2022 KY3. All rights reserved.