Fertilizer price spikes concern crop growers

Posted: Monday, January 05, 2009

FAIRBANKS - A team of University of Alaska Fairbanks agriculture experts are concerned about spiking fertilizer prices.

Costs have gone up by as much as 400 percent, putting stress on agriculture producers.

Milan Shipka, an associate director with the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, says these costs, plus rising energy prices, could drive some producers out of business.

Shipka says price hikes are linked to the 2007 closure of Agrium in Kenai. Agrium manufactured urea, a fertilizer used throughout the state.

Researchers are now looking for alternatives to offset the costs. This could include looking to organic rather than commercial fertilizers.

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