Most Retail Fertilizer Prices Fairly Still


Fertilizer prices remain fairly constant, according to retailers surveyed by DTN in the third week of January 2011. The one exception continues to be the price of 10-34-0, which has risen on concerns about acid supplies, a major component of the starter fertilizer.

For the sixth week in a row, 10-34-0 had the largest price increase, up 9 percent compared to a month earlier. The starter fertilizer averaged $643 per ton.

The other seven major fertilizers (DAP, MAP, potash, urea, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32) were all just slightly lower compared to one month earlier. DAP had an average price of $671/ton, MAP $696/ton, potash $572/ton, urea $489/ton, anhydrous $735/ton, UAN28 $351/ton and UAN32 $397/ton.

Late January is generally a slow time for farmers interested in locking in fertilizer. Many producers have already done so by the end of the year, and those who didn’t most likely will wait until they need the fertilizer to pay for it.

Dick Siefkes, manager of the Bath Fertilizer location for the South Dakota Wheat Growers near Aberdeen, S.D., said a higher percentage of his farmer customers have already locked in their fertilizer needs for the upcoming spring planting season.

“I would say about 90 percent of customers locked in fertilizer before the end of the year, which is more than normal,” Siefkes said. “We were in an area that didn’t get 60 percent of corn acres planted last spring because it was wet, so many farmers had income with prevented planting acres but very little expenditures.”

Siefkes said another reason for the increase in customers already paying for fertilizer was because more product than normal was applied last fall since farmers had fewer crops to harvest and since the weather was generally cooperative.

With much anhydrous and dry fertilizer already applied last fall, farmers in northeast South Dakota should actually get all their acres planted this spring as they will not have to worry about fertilizer application, Siefkes said.

“We have about 40 inches of snow on the ground right now, so how this snow cover melts later in February and March will go a long ways in determining how wet it is next spring,” he said. “We are all optimistic about having a good spring.”

All eight major fertilizers are now showing double-digit increases in price compared to one year earlier. Leading the way higher is now 10-34-0. The starter fertilizer has skyrocketed in recent weeks and is now 65 percent higher compared to the third week of January 2010.

Anhydrous climbed 56 percent during the past year while UAN28 gained 49 percent, MAP 46 percent, DAP 44 higher and UAN32 43 percent.

Urea is running 17 percent higher than one year earlier while potash is 12 percent higher.

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

Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp


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