As we begin preparations for next season, rising fertilizer costs are top of mind for our farmers.

Fertilizer prices have skyrocketed as much as 300% in some areas, American Farm Bureau reports in a recent Market Report.

In California, AgAlert reports that UN 32 has tripled in price “and could go higher,” on account of high demand.

Given that fertilizer costs account for approximately 15% of total cash costs in the U.S., according to USDA data, “fertilizer prices are the number one issue on farmers’ minds.”

To overcome soaring fertilizer costs and availability issues, Holloway has seen a number of Central California growers holding off on applications or turning to other alternatives such as compost and compost/gypsum blends.

Compost vs. fertilizer

UN 32 vs. Compost

Analysis from Holloway’s agronomy team shows growers can swap out fertilizer applications with compost and get some of the same benefits (along with side benefits, such as improved moisture retention, primary and micronutrients, and microbial activity). Here is a cost-benefits comparison of compost ($0.58/pound N) versus UN 32 ($1.17/pound N):

UN 32 vs. Compost Cost, Benefits Analysis


Compost N breakdown: With compost we may only receive 1/3 of total Nitrogen in the first of a three-year breakdown ($1.73/pound N).

Other benefits of compost:
• Phosphorus: 2.3%, 46 pounds P/ton
• Potassium: 4.4%, 88 pounds K/ton
• Magnesium: 1.2%, 24 pounds Mg/ton
• Calcium: 2.0%, 40 pounds Ca/ton

Contact Us for Custom Agronomy

Holloway also provides the area’s highest quality gypsum, and can provide custom agronomy, soil analysis, custom blends, delivery and spreading services.

This helps alleviate supply chain issues, prevents delivery delays and unforeseen price hikes due to soaring fuel and labor costs.

To set up a recommendation for your operation, contact us today.

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