A political spat in Eastern Europe fertilizes the American farming industry

By Aliza Kempner

Tension surrounding trade conflicts between Russia and Belarus continues to blossom: this time surrounding the potash industry, a fertilizer whose high price worldwide has remained afloat courtesy of a Belarusian cartel. Pressures from either side have taken an ugly turn, with Russia most recently imposing a slew of trade restrictions.

While the dispute has hurt Russian and Belarusian profits, farmers from Idaho to India have benefited from lower fertilizer prices. Potash serves as one of three main ingredients in widely-used fertilizer for corn and soybean yields, and the price for granular potash in the Midwest has fallen to around $400 a ton, from $420.

The New York Times highlights the details of the hostility between the political leaders and explains the potential windfall to American farmers.