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Change Coming to Fertilizer Prices? | KRVN Radio

Change Coming to Fertilizer Prices?

Change Coming to Fertilizer Prices?
Image: iStock/Thinkstock

OMAHA (DTN) — According to retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the third week of April 2018, prices continue to be mostly on the higher side. However, there are signs that perhaps this is finally changing.

Urea is now 4% less expensive than it was a year ago. (DTN chart)

For the first time in several months, multiple fertilizers were actually lower in price compared to the month before. Both MAP and urea had slightly lower prices with MAP having an average price of $502/ton and urea $368/ton.

The remaining six fertilizers were again higher compared to last month, but these moves were small. DAP had an average price of $484/ton, potash $353/ton, 10-34-0 $431/ton, anhydrous $508/ton, UAN28 $240/ton and UAN32 $275/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.40/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.43/lb.N and UAN32 $0.43/lb.N.

With a delay in fieldwork due to a cold and damp spring in many Midwestern locations, one has to wonder if farmers will shift to other forms of nitrogen if the nutrient hasn’t already been applied.

Jeremy Olson, an agronomist with Pederson Seed and Service located in Hiawatha, Kansas, told DTN that most farmers in northeastern Kansas got at least some of their nitrogen applied last fall, thanks to cooperative weather after harvest. Because of this, there should not be much changing in regards to nitrogen, he said.

“Some of our acres, maybe 10% to 15% of the acres, got spring anhydrous application,” Olson told DTN. “It would have been tough to get much (anhydrous) on this spring.”

Olson said they are doing some experimenting with ESN Smart Nitrogen (urea granule contained within a polymer coating) and/or urea mixes behind the planters as a supplemental source of nitrogen. This would mainly be on high yielding fields, which would be utilizing nitrogen modeling, he said.

Some farmers in his region delayed phosphorus (P) and potash (K) applications this winter and didn’t make those decisions until late January into February. He was still busy sending out variable P and K maps to his customers up to the last couple of weeks.

“I think that is purely a function of cash flow,” he said.

Half of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year, with prices pushing higher in recent months. Both potash and urea are now 4% more expensive; MAP is 8% more expensive; and DAP is 11% higher compared to last year.

The remaining four fertilizers are lower in price compared to a year ago. Both 10-34-0 and anhydrous are 1% less expensive, while UAN32 is 2% lower and UAN28 is 3% less expensive looking back a year.

DTN collects roughly 1,700 retail fertilizer bids from 310 retailer locations weekly. Not all fertilizer prices change each week. Prices are subject to change at any time.

DTN Pro Grains subscribers can find current retail fertilizer price in the DTN Fertilizer Index on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.

Retail fertilizer charts dating back to 2010 are available in the DTN fertilizer segment. The charts included cost of N/lb., DAP, MAP, potash, urea, 10-34-0, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32.

DTN’s average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Apr 17-21 2017 438 466 339 352
May 15-19 2017 437 471 340 350
Jun 12-16 2017 437 470 341 338
Jul 10-14 2017 436 467 340 321
Aug 7-11 2017 434 462 339 311
Sep 4-8 2017 431 458 338 302
Oct 2-6 2017 425 453 348 323
Oct 27-Nov 3 2017 434 455 348 330
Nov 27-Dec 1 2017 435 460 342 340
Dec 25-29 2017 448 488 344 348
Jan 22-26 2018 458 492 344 353
Feb 19-23 2018 460 496 345 357
Mar 19-23 2018 469 504 349 368
Apr 16-20 2018 484 502 353 368
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Apr 17-21 2017 437 509 247 280
May 15-19 2017 436 510 248 283
Jun 12-16 2017 435 500 246 278
Jul 10-14 2017 431 451 235 268
Aug 7-11 2017 440 419 224 258
Sep 4-8 2017 418 413 215 248
Oct 2-6 2017 413 399 208 243
Oct 27-Nov 3 2017 405 401 208 262
Nov 27-Dec 1 2017 403 417 216 271
Dec 25-29 2017 407 468 216 254
Jan 22-26 2018 415 490 226 261
Feb 19-23 2018 416 495 231 265
Mar 19-23 2018 422 503 236 269
Apr 16-20 2018 431 508 240 275
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