Fertilizer Prices Remain Calm and Constant


by Russ Quinn, DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) — For a fifth week in a row, retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN show the market in a holding pattern.

In the latest weekly survey, all eight major fertilizers were lower compared to a month earlier, although these drops were fairly diminutive. DAP had an average price of $655 per ton, MAP $707/ton, potash $656/ton and urea was at $552/ton.

Starter fertilizer, 10-34-0, had an average price of $812/ton, anhydrous $779/ton, UAN28 $385/ton and UAN32 $434/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.60/lb.N, anhydrous $0.47/lb.N, UAN28 $0.69/lb.N and UAN32 $0.68/lb.N.

With fertilizer prices continuing steady and planting season quickly approaching, many farmers are debating whether to lock in their fertilizer needs before they return to the fields.

Richard Oswald, a 2011 Missouri River flood victim who farms with his son, Brandon, near Langdon, Mo., has not purchased any fertilizer to date. The northwestern Missouri farmer is still drawing off the P and K applied over the last several years and has decided not to book any of his anhydrous in advance.

“We haven’t locked in any anhydrous,” Oswald told DTN. “Anhydrous looks to be pretty steady here.”

In the past, Oswald pre-purchased anhydrous as a practice. Then a few years ago he paid $850/ton for anhydrous that was worth $750/ton in the fall when he applied the nitrogen fertilizer. Since then, he has chosen not to lock in his anhydrous needs.

Also factoring in his decision to delay pricing is the condition of some of his fields. Oswald farms mostly Missouri River bottom ground in Atchison County, Mo., which was severely flooded last year.

“With the situation on the river bottom, we figure we’ll wait and see before putting anything down,” he said. “Prevented planting will work with or without $100-plus (anhydrous per acre) plowed into a flooded field.”

Just three of the eight major fertilizers are still showing double-digit increases in price compared to one year earlier. Leading the way higher is 10-34-0. The starter fertilizer skyrocketed in price last year but has fallen back some in recent months. It is now is 22{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} higher compared to the second week of February 2011.

Potash has jumped 14{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} while urea has increased 12{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} from a year ago.

Four fertilizers have seen just slight price increases compared to a year earlier. UAN28 is 8{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} higher, both UAN32 and anhydrous are up 6{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} and MAP has risen 1{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} compared to last year.

The remaining fertilizer, DAP, is actually 3{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} lower compared to one year ago.

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

Retail fertilizer charts dating back to November 2008 are available in the DTN fertilizer segment. The charts include cost of N/lb., DAP, MAP, potash, urea, 10-34-0, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32.

DTN collects roughly 1,200 retail fertilizer bids from 310 retailer locations weekly. Not all fertilizer prices change each week. Prices are subject to change at any time.


© Copyright 2012 DTN/The Progressive Farmer, A Telvent Brand. All rights reserved.

Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp


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