Input prices on farmers minds as planting season approaches

With planting season around the corner, input prices are heavy on the minds of farmers.

Input prices have surged in recent years, making producers think carefully about their planting decisions. Photo taken in 2021.
Emily Beal / Agweek

Above-normal input prices continue to persist after hitting record highs last year. The surging costs have been heavy on the minds of farmers as they prepare to make their way into the fields this planting season.

While the price of fertilizer is on the downward trend, it appears that farmers will be paying about the same cost per acre.

“Fertilizer prices are actually about the same as they were last year, at this time. I mean, as far as the cost per acre, the actual cost of the fertilizer has gone down, but the rates applied are higher because last year we were coming off the 2021 drought year so you didn’t have to apply quite as much,” said Ron Haugen, North Dakota State University Extension farm management specialist.

Some farmers may opt to plant certain crops in their acres in an effort to combat input costs. But Haugen advises farmers not to disrupt their crop rotations to save money at the expense of their soil’s health.

According to Byron Parman, North Dakota State University Extension state ag finance specialist, the 2022 farm data is appearing to be a record year in farm income. Due to the historic year, farmers are going to be able to purchase inputs for the 2023 year and still remain profitable.


2021 was a profitable year for farmers as well, but Parman says the cycle will end eventually. He urges producers to plan for drier money years ahead so they will be able to withstand those harder times.

“Keep in mind, ag tends to be cyclical. We’re gonna have, from the data I am seeing, perhaps record high incomes from 2022 to work off of this year and probably, I am hopeful, a strong year this year as well. But ag tends to cycle, and after two or three strong years we kind of hit a lull. So, we make sure we’re not over extending as things are going well so we’re able to withstand a few leaner years in the future,” he said.

Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
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