National Farmers Union (NFU) deputy president Tom Bradshaw has urged the government and industry to help farm businesses plan for next year’s crop by publishing fertiliser prices and working on a solution to enable the closed CF Fertiliser plant to restart production.

According to AHDB figures, fertiliser prices have increased by 180% year-on-year. In April 2021, the price was £281/t. In April 2022, the price was £785/t.

Speaking at the first day of the 2022 Cereals event, NFU deputy president Tom Bradshaw highlighted the complete lack of transparency in the fertiliser market.

This has left growers with a lack of information risking serious impacts for the 2023 growing season.

He said:

“Over the past year, the fertiliser market has entered into a new era. Costs and supply face unprecedented risks and we need a visible, transparent market to allow producers, distributors and farmers alike to manage these threats in a commercially viable way.

“Nitrogen fertiliser supplies are reeling from geopolitical events that have upended the energy markets it is reliant on," he added.

"As a result, there is likely going to be a lack of availability next year and we are urging suppliers to proactively come forward and publish fertiliser prices to give farm businesses maximum time to plan in 2023.

"It’s absolutely critical that ministers recognise the importance of fertilisers and other inputs to a farm business and make those markets fit for purpose."

“It is a real possibility that nitrogen fertiliser is the limiting factor globally over the next 18 months which, alongside the crisis in the Ukraine, will restrict global crop production and deepen the humanitarian disaster.

“As the government finalises its national food strategy, it’s absolutely critical that ministers recognise the importance of fertilisers and other inputs to a farm business and make those markets fit-for-purpose,” he concluded.