The inputs necessary to make fields and livestock flourish have become significantly more expensive in 2021 for U.S. farmers. Shrinking profit margins are forcing them to pass along costs to consumers. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, retail prices for fresh produce and meats are 5% to 6% since last year. From fuel for tractors and trucks to fertilizers and pesticides for the fields, farmers are contending with higher prices for everything.


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Fertilizer And Fuel Prices

A fourth-generation farmer in Colorado said that he is paying more for fertilizer, fuel, and fungicides. The financial pressure will likely make him delay building upgrades and could force him to lay off workers.

A representative from a crop dusting company in Colorado said that he used to pay $11 a gallon to ship fertilizer from a coastal port but must now pay $28 a gallon. Shipping delays worsen the price hikes. Fertilizer shipments that used to arrive in days now take weeks due to a lack or truckers or cargo sitting offshore at clogged ports.

In California, rising fuel prices add to the expense of running farm machinery. In that state, farmers are paying 41.8% more for fuel in 2021 compared to 2020.

Feed Prices

Agricultural commodity prices are rising all over the world. Dairy farmers in California and elsewhere are paying more for corn and soybeans to feed their cattle.


U.S. farmers already pay tariffs to import phosphate fertilizers from Morocco and Russia. New tariffs are being considered for nitrogen fertilizers coming from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago. Even if the nitrogen tariff does not happen, the Colorado Farm Bureau has warned farmers to expect fertilizer prices to go up by 5% in 2022.

Many of the chemicals used in pesticide production come from plants in China. The trade war between the United States and China has left U.S. farmers with high tariffs, usually around 20%, on the imports that they need to run their operations.

What have the price hikes been like at your agricultural company?

ABOUT The U.S. Department of Agriculture

We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.

We have a vision to provide economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve our Nation’s natural resources through conservation, restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is made up of 29 agencies and offices with nearly 100,000 employees who serve the American people at more than 4,500 locations across the country and abroad.

ABOUT The Colorado Farm Bureau

The Farm Bureau Family is made up of farmers, ranchers, veterinarians, teachers, retailers, grocers, gardeners, doctors, tradesmen, civil servants, scientists, and more. Our members represent all of agriculture, not just a single crop or commodity. And they represent all of Colorado. There is a Farm Bureau member in every county in the state.

The Colorado Farm Bureau provides an organization in which members may secure the benefits of a united front, in a way which could never be accomplished through individual effort. Members work together to identify common problems and create solutions for the betterment of all. Involvement in Farm Bureau is the embodiment of civic engagement and a pure expression of our first amendment rights.

The Farm Bureau is truly a bottom-up organization. It provides the opportunity for members to gather at the county level, discuss their concerns, and develop ways to resolve their problems. The members make final decisions regarding the policy direction of the organization on issues such as property rights, taxes, water rights, regulations, use of public lands, the environment, food and nutrition, education, international trade, transportation, energy and many others.

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