Fertilizer Prices Start Climbing…Again


DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

by Russ Quinn, DTN Staff Reporter

After taking a respite for a few weeks, the price of 10-34-0 resumed its march higher, according to retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the first week of March 2011. The lack of available starter fertilizer has been reported for weeks now by retailers and grows more important each week as spring planting moves closer.

10-34-0 jumped 8 percent compared to the first week of February. The starter fertilizer’s average price was $706 per ton.

The other seven fertilizers (DAP, MAP, potash, urea, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32) were also higher compared to a month earlier, albeit just slightly higher. DAP’s average price was $681/ton, MAP $701/ton, potash $583/ton, urea $490/ton, anhydrous $742/ton, UAN28 $363/ton and UAN32 $408/ton

Matt Christopherson, agronomy marketing manager for North Central Farmers Elevator located in Ipswich, S.D., said he sees the liquid fertilizers gaining a little price strength as planting season slowly starts to inch closer. The availability of 10-34-0 is on many retailers’ minds.

“With the acid shortage, there just is not that much starter out there to be had,” Christopherson said. “It could be an awfully tough spring in terms of starter availability.”

With most fertilizer retailers operating in a just-in-time situation, Christopherson said he would encourage a great amount of communication between farmers and their fertilizer retailers. Timing problems, which occurred both in the spring and fall last year in some regions, could again resurface this spring. This is especially true if the spring is wet and the application/planting window narrows.

“I think having that relationship between farmer and retailer will be especially important in a year like this,” he said. “Even if you don’t want to commit to any fertilizer purchases, it may be a good idea just to talk to your retailer and give them a heads up, ‘Hey, I am looking at this much fertilizer this spring.’ I think that could go a long way in helping the situation.”

All eight major fertilizers are now showing double-digit increases in price compared to one year earlier. Leading the way higher is 10-34-0. The starter fertilizer has skyrocketed in recent weeks and is now 78 percent higher compared to the first week of March 2010.

Anhydrous has climbed 58 percent above a year ago, UAN32 49 percent, UAN28 46 percent, DAP and MAP 41 percent and urea 18 percent.

Rounding out the higher prices is potash, which has gained 15 percent.

DTN Pro Grains subscribers can find current retail fertilizer prices by location on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.

DTN collects fertilizer prices from nearly 150 retailer locations weekly. Not all fertilizer prices change each week. Prices are subject to change at any time.

© Copyright 2011 DTN/The Progressive Farmer, A Telvent Brand. All rights reserved.

Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp


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