anybody know how the oil situation impacts farming fertilizers? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Just curious....a real big concern before the rollover was farmers getting their petroleum based fertilizers so we can have a harvest this summmer. Would I be correct in thinking that as things look now, they will get all they need, just at a higher price for product, shipping,etc?

-- carolyn (, January 21, 2000


good question...

-- Hokie (, January 21, 2000.

So it begins...

-- Shiva (, January 21, 2000.

If there are major fuel disruptions affecting the rail industry, then the heavy hauling to move finished products from producer to local distributors will take a big hit. And mining is another area which can be affected in the agriculture chain.

If the phosphate and potash mines have trouble, then whether or not the railroads can move those materials to the fertilizer manufacturers and then on to the farmers doesn't matter. And FWIW, the railroad's phosphate shipping season is just beginning to producers in Canada.

Got bags of fertilizer in your prep stockpile?


-- Wildweasel (, January 21, 2000.

In this area, anhydrous ammonia is the fertilizer of choice. The petroleum-based sprays are usually pesticides or herbicides. Large fields mean huge equipment and the fuel to run them. A heavy impact on farming if the petroleum supply is weakened.

-- Liz (, January 21, 2000.

Fertilizer is made from natural gas, not oil.

-- anonymous (, January 21, 2000.

Carolyn, about your question about oil impacting agriculture! I'll give you a front line view of what I'm seeing out here in the NorthWest and what I expect will happen in the near future. I am a farmer that had to give it up 2 years ago because the return in investment was down to zero. Many farms nation wide are in this position right now. Those that don't believe this only need to drive out to the rural and ask and they will tell you whats happening. My occupation now is aerial application. I've done this for 17 years but 'crop dusting' is my only way of life now. I use 30000 gal. of Av. gas a year in my operation at $l.45 av./gal. The disruptions that I'm seeing right now posted at this sight in regards to oil and the possibilities of supply problems causing inflated fuel prices or shortages tells me I'm in for deep trouble. I don't even like to say Y2K but I think this cascading effect is going to hit harder than we can ever imagine. This is a technological and industrial society right now but is still based primarily on agriculture. Many people forget this but I think in just a short few months we all will be reminded of where our roots were established and how very important the uninterrupted production of food is to this nation. Let's all hope for the best.

-- John Thomas (, January 21, 2000.

If we don't get some rain in Oklahoma and Texas, lack of fertilizer and fuel won't matter.

-- grannyclampett (don', January 21, 2000.

The oil situation impacts farming fertilizers in Australia by increasing the cost of bringing them to the site storage bin and applying to the land.

Fertilizers may also increase in cost before the product is available to the farmer because of the cost of production.

Fuel increases mean fewer farmers will be viable. We have lost 10,000 farmer per year since 1987 and this year will see the numbers dwindle to about 90,000 nationally. This equation totally changes the political and socio-economic scene Down Under.

Today Oil per barrel is $A45

The situation gets even more interesting when so many farms require trace elements boosting to make the soil sound and capable of handling sustained cropping and grazing. Less farmers pump up the land to make more that costs ever more to produce to a more demanding consumer world.

This question is huge, spilling over to tourism, aquaculture and manufacturing and ecosystem sustainability. I think we live in very interesting volatile times...we need rain too!

Regards from OZ

-- Pieter (, January 22, 2000.

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