The world’s most valuable commodity has been sucked dry by a glut of cheap, easily available fertilizers.
With prices for fertilizers skyrocketing, farmers have had to turn to expensive chemicals and chemicals only, to achieve fertility success.
Read more But the fertilizer sector is struggling with a shortage of fertilizers, too.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, fertilizers accounted for just 7 per cent of the country’s crop output in 2016.
Fertilizer prices have been climbing in recent years.
The cost of fertilizer rose by more than 20 per cent last year.
The Australian Government has warned that fertilizers have become so expensive that farmers are now turning to cheaper chemicals to meet their needs.
“We are seeing the impact of this trend and we need to do something about it,” Dr Tom Naylor, the Department of Agriculture’s chief executive, told ABC Radio in Canberra on Wednesday.
We need to change that, he said.
Australia’s largest fertiliser manufacturer, Rio Tinto, said that its fertilizers were not being used as much as they should.
It is a major reason why prices have risen so much in recent months, Mr Naylor said.
“Fertilliser prices have gone up about $1,000 a tonne in the last six months, so it’s almost a $10,000 to $15,000 price increase every month,” he said, adding that this was “pretty substantial”.
“It’s an area where we have a huge investment in,” he added.
“We have got a big plan, but we don’t have a budget for that.”
Fertile fertility can come with a huge price tag.
In Australia, fertilisers account for just seven per cent to eight per cent.
However, the Government has set a target of 20 per by 2020, and has said that it would invest more than $1 billion over the next five years to address the problem.
The Government’s plan is aimed at tackling the problem of a shortage that is only beginning to show signs of abating.
Under its policy, the Federal Government will buy fertilisers from overseas to ensure they can meet the Government’s target.”If we don´t buy fertilizers overseas, we are going to have to import them from Australia,” the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said in a statement last week.
This week, a government report found that around 50 per cent the fertilisers that farmers need were imported.
A lack of fertilisers has also been blamed for a rise in the number of fertilised eggs.
But some experts say that the shortage is largely a function of farmers using less fertilizers to achieve the same results.
There is also evidence that fertilisers have a higher risk of contamination, such as with pesticides, and are therefore less safe than alternatives, such anaerobic fertilisers, which use water to help the plant grow.
Farmers have also reported higher costs because fertilisers are more expensive to produce.
Mr Naylor told ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday that farmers were using fertilisers to achieve their best fertilization results.
“They are very expensive and that is why fertilizers are so popular,” he explained.
He said the fertilizers needed to be made from sustainable materials, which are generally sourced from indigenous communities.
“It means farmers have to buy a new fertiliser every two to three years and that’s a big investment,” he also said.
“It means that you’re investing more than you should.”
“This is why we have to have a long-term plan, because we are not seeing any improvement in the fertility rate,” he told ABC radio.