As we all know, fertilizer prices hit record high levels last year. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has just released a new report on fuel and fertilizer prices. The report estimates last year’s Canadian fertilizer expenses at a record high $5.4 billion, an increase of 69 per cent over 2007. A couple years ago, a report commissioned by Keystone Agricultural Producers of Manitoba indicated that fertilizer was often significantly less expensive just across the line in the U.S. That’s not the finding in this new Ag Canada report. A price comparison was conducted between Manitoba and the U.S. border area. Although average prices for major nitrogen fertilizers were higher in Manitoba in the spring and summer of 2008, they fell below the neighbouring U.S. prices in the fall. An overall lower fertilizer price in Manitoba compared to the U.S. was estimated to save Manitoba farmers about $74 million in their 2008 fertilizer bill. Similar findings came in a comparison of Ontario versus U.S. border area prices. If you’re checked out fertilizer prices in recent weeks, you’ll have noticed that they’ve continued to drop since seeding. Last year at this time, prices were skyrocketing. I’m Kevin Hursh.

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Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC