Fertilizer prices have shot upwards in the past five years as manufacturers have been unable to keep up with demand. The demand is driven by an increase in biofuel production, and a growing appetite for red meat in developing countries. The end result is that it now costs an extra $1.00 now to get a slice from my the pizza place around the corner from me. [NYT]


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  1. homerjay says:

    Try owning a landscaping company who relies on fertilizer. Try being an ORGANIC landscaper who relies exclusively on organic fertilizers some of which are based on corn!

    Some of my fert prices have doubled this year. Its awful.

  2. Makes sense. Pizza contains both grain and dairy. Grain prices have gone up due to the stupid ethanol craze, which makes flour for the dough cost more. It also raises the prices of grain for feed, which raises the price of dairy, where the cheese comes from. Also, of you go to a pizzeria that uses cornmeal on the bottom of the pizza to prevent sticking in the oven, the price of corn has really gone up, again due to the ethanol idiocy.

    The solution? Given this article which scientifically proves that plants crave electrolytes, we should fertilize our fields w/Brawndo.

  3. heavylee-again says:

    Your pizza place serves fertilizer as a topping?

  4. AstroPig7 says:

    Short-sighted ethanol policies FTW!

  5. BigElectricCat says:


    So where then, I ask you, is all the ethanol that’s supposedly been made from all the missing corn?

    I’d like for someone who’s blaming ethanol for rising food prices to show me where all this dadgum ethanol is.

    I don’t believe you can. I think someone’s being dishonest and manipulative on this topic (and I don’t mean any Consumerist posters).

  6. Those fertilizer manufacturers are full of shit. Ha! There, as corny as it is, I said it.

  7. backbroken says:

    BUT BUT BUT…. it’s costing you less to drive to the pizza parlor due to the corny goodness in your tank.



  8. forgottenpassword says:

    OH NO!!!! Now they are screwing with my pizza prices!?!?!?!!? That’s JUST TOO FAR!!!!!!

  9. nadmonk says:

    Another thing to remember is that one of the major components in the industrial manufacture of fertilizer is natural gas.

  10. sisedi says:

    @BigElectricCat: LOLthenol is 15% of your gas every time you fill up, unless you’re in a safehaven of sorts where shoddy Gov’t policies don’t mess with your gas prices (impossible).

  11. Three Word Chant says:

    The problem isnt just “biofuels” in general..thats a very broad class. Some biofuels are a net loss in terms of energy generated. as AstroPig7 said. If it takes 150+ gallons of fossil fuels to produce and transport corn ethanol, which itself produces less energy than other biofuels, than no one is really being green. These shortsighted policies simply endorsed corn because we have lots of it and its already heavily subsidized.

    Other biofuels produce a lot more energy at a lot less cost – although not all of them can be widely grown all over the country (sugar, and what Brazil is doing with it, is a prime example).

    The problem with these energy debates is people simply rush to one side or another – there are biofuels that can help and they should be part of a long term sustainable strategy but we shouldn’t just go with the first one we find and then claim it will solve everything.

  12. unklegwar says:

    I woulda thought the fertilizer prices woulda gone up from all those photo-taking terrorists buying it up for bombs. Which I guess they make with biodeisel.

  13. @Git Em SteveDave: OK, I have no clue why that picture appeared. I am very confused.

  14. @unklegwar: ANFO bombs are soooo 1995.

  15. mac-phisto says:

    1) crops are grossly over-fertilized as it is. one of my friends runs a CSA that uses very minimal levels of fertilizer – mostly he relies on crop-rotation to reintroduce nutrients into the soil – & his tomatoes are fantastic!

    2) production of ethanol from corn is not very efficient, but there are a variety of other methods that are incredibly more efficient & don’t rely on our food supply. the question is, why aren’t we using them?

    that is all.

  16. @mac-phisto: Most peoples hatred of diesel engines? Bio-diesel is good, and you can use the waste by-products of things like chicken processors. But b/c most Americans have a love affair w/ powerful engines and fast cars, they won’t look at diesel. Also the fact that diesel is WAY over the price of gas now, making people feel better about using the cheaper gas is driving it.

  17. synergy says:

    I think I could come up with a lot of fertilizer for them…

    Also, what they’re saying sounds like fertilizer in and of itself, so I don’t know what they’re talking about… ;)

  18. jeff303 says:

    @mac-phisto: The fields aren’t over-fertilized. The problem is you just flat out need that much nitrogen to grow cereal grains to the scale demanded by our industrial food machine. The only way to create this much fertility is through artificial fixation of nitrogen (look up the Haber process and read The Omnivore’s Dilemma for much more info).

  19. donkeyjote says:

    Whoever named thier pizza store “The Pizza Place” needs to be slapped with the stick of creativity.

  20. mac-phisto says:
  21. mike says:

    Wow…That really stinks.

    I’ll be here all week. Tip your wait staff.