This study uses nationwide household panel survey data from 1996/97 to 2006/07 to examine trends in fertilizer use on maize by smallholder maize growers. The paper also compares these findings with fertilizer use rates according to other recent surveys in Kenya to assess comparability. We also examine the correlation between household fertilizer use and indicators of welfare such as wealth and landholding size. In addition, we use econometric techniques applied to household survey data to identify the main household and community characteristics associated with fertilizer purchases. Lastly, the study considers alternative policy strategies for maintaining smallholders’ access to fertilizer in the current context of substantially higher world fertilizer prices.