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Farmers buying plant food from cooperatives paid 8 percent less per ton than those buying from other firms. On the average, farmers paid $361 per ton of nutrient from cooperatives in 1975, compared with the $392 they paid noncooperatives. This price differential of $31 a ton saved cooperative patrons close to $200 million that year. These savings did not include patronage refunds declared to farmers on their 1975 purchases or any potential savings from restraints the cooperative presence may have had on the overall market. Nor did the study include data on differences, if any, in fertilizer services provided by the cooperatives versus noncooperatives.


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