WHEREAS the long-term future of rural Alberta requires a sustainable and viable agriculture industry;AND WHEREAS fertilizer prices for spring 2003 have increased, in some cases as high as 50% over fall of 2002;AND WHEREAS government agriculture departments and industry point to the high cost of energy and natural gas as the main reason for fertilizer price increases;AND WHEREAS the Government of Alberta has received substantially higher royalty revenue as a result of higher natural gas prices;AND WHEREAS most Alberta Farmers are suffering from successive droughts and below average returns on production and cannot withstand this increase in input costs;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Provincial Government to initiate a rebate program which would shelter agricultural producers from soaring fertilizer costs.
Local fertilizer dealers advise that prices for spring of 2003 have increased anywhere from 20% to 50% over fall of 2002 prices. These increases include approximately $200 per tonne for Anhydrous Ammonia, $150 per tonne Urea Nitrogen, and $20 per tonne for Phosphate.The significant increase is not sustainable for Alberta agriculture producers many whom have suffered from successive years of drought. Thus far in 2003, the Government of Alberta has received much higher than expected royalty revenue from natural gas sales and have been unwilling to share this windfall with the owners of this resource, the people of Alberta. Fertilizer is an agricultural producers largest input cost which is directly related to the high natural gas rates, fertilizer costs have elevated dramatically.