U.S. supply of nitrogen-based fertilizer coming more from abroad

A line chart showing U.S. nitrogen supply from domestic production and net imports.

Fertilizer is an important component of production costs for crops, especially corn. Nitrogen fertilizer production is energy-intensive as natural gas makes up 70 to 80 percent of production costs. U.S. nitrogen fertilizer supplies, while historically domestic, have been increasingly imported over the past decade. Shares of U.S. nitrogen fertilizer are now nearly equal between domestic and foreign suppliers. This chart may be found in the ERS report, Impacts of Higher Energy Prices on Agriculture and Rural Economies, ERR-123, published in August 2011.

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