Oklahoma Farmers Struggling With Price Spike For Fertilizer, Other Supplies

Thursday, September 16th 2021, 9:41 pm
By: Grant Stephens

TULSA, Oklahoma -

An increase in the cost of things like fertilizer, seeds, and feed is bad news for Green Country farmers as they prepare for the next season.

Charlie Coblentz loaded up his planter with winter wheat seeds Thursday afternoon, but getting it to grow will cost much more this year.

"To fertilize your wheat crop which we are getting ready to plant, it is twice as high as it was last year," Coblentz said.

Coblentz said the cost of nearly all of his inputs - things like fuel, seed, fertilizer and chemicals - have gone up and that the last two have nearly doubled in price.

"Stuff we have to have," he said.

Mike Steed manages J&B Feed, which supplies farmers with necessary fertilizers and seeds. He said unfortunately, farmers don't have much of a choice but to buy the needed fertilizers.

"Cause when it's time to plant you need to have the product on hand. And if you don't have the product, it doesn't matter what the excuse is, if you don't have it then it can't be done," Steed said.

He said several factors like labor and material shortages have put a squeeze on the supply chain.

"Part of the problem with getting produce in here was not the actual product, but it was the plastic jugs and bottle lids to put on them to ship them out," Steed said. "We've had to back off. And so, everything has kind of got stopped up in the pipeline coming to us."

A low supply creates a spike in prices, ultimately hurting farmers like Coblentz since they can't sell their crops above market price.

"To finance this operation, it's much more of a financial risk than it's ever been because everything at the beginning costs so much more," Coblentz said.

He said despite the rise in costs, he's staying positive and hopes next year will be better.