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Soaring fertilizer prices have farmers bracing for spring planting

As fertilizer costs continue to rise, farmers are working hard to plan and budget for the 2022 growing season.

Fertilizer is a necessity for farmers, allowing them to achieve the high yields needed to meet demand and keep their operations afloat. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, fertilizer costs have risen as much as 300 percent in some areas—adding significant pressure to farmers’ pocketbooks.

“It’s just so outrageously high. It’s pretty unreal,” said Richard Kitchen, a Southampton County farmer and member of Virginia Farm Bureau Federation’s Cotton Advisory Committee.

Kitchen grows cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans and wheat at Plank Road Farms in Courtland. He said while he isn’t using much fertilizer during the winter, he’ll have to be strategic in the spring.

“It’ll be a lot of sharpening the pencil and deciding what is going to be the best crop mix for the 2022 growing season,” Kitchen said. “Maybe that means not growing as many acres of crops that req...

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