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DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

UAN Fertilizers Higher Once Again

OMAHA (DTN) — A majority of retail fertilizer prices continue to push higher, according to fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the last week of January 2017. This marks the second consecutive week prices have been significantly higher, although prices have been trending higher much longer.

All but one of the eight major fertilizers were higher although only two were higher by any considerable amount. UAN28 was 8% higher compared to a month earlier while UAN32 was 6% more expensive. UAN28 had an average price of $236/ton while UAN32 was at $270/ton.

The remaining five fertilizers were slightly higher but not by a significant amount. MAP had an average price of $448/ton, potash $329/ton, urea $353/ton, 10-34-0 $439/ton and anhydrous $482/ton.

One lone fertilizer is slightly lower, but this move to the low side was not that notable. DAP had an average price of $430/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.29/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.42/lb.N.

While retail fertilizer prices may not be as low as they were a few weeks ago, they are still relatively low in the big picture view and university crop budgets continue to reflect this fact.

In a post from the Agricultural Economic Insights’ Blog titled “Why Soybean Acres Aren’t a Clear Winner in 2017” from Feb. 6 and written by David Widmar and Brent Gloy, the ag economists take a look at the different crop budgets from across the Corn Belt. They used crop budgets for the 2017 growing season for corn and soybeans from Iowa State University, the University of Illinois and Purdue University.

The changes in the cost of seed, fertilizer and crop protection from 2016 compared to 2013 are broken down in the post. Scroll down to find the link to this post.

Not surprisingly, fertilizer has seen large declines during this time. Iowa State estimates fertilizer will be down $59/acre in corn and $25/acre in beans while Illinois figured $57/acre less in corn and $42/acre less in beans and Purdue was at $73/acre lower in corn and $44/acre lower in beans.

“While fertilizer expenses have changed in all budgets — as one would expect given declining fertilizer prices — changes in seed and crop protection have also been impactful,” the report said.

While some may believe soybeans would hold a clear economic advantage in the 2017 growing season over corn production, the university crop budgets were not consistent with the assessments of which crop would fare better economically. The Purdue and Illinois crop budgets favored soybeans in 2017, while the Iowa State crop budget favored corn.

Differences in the crop budgets are not uncommon, the report said. It happened in 2014 when the Purdue budgets favored soybeans while Iowa State and Illinois both stated corn would be more profitable.

“When evaluating seed, fertilizer and crop protection expenses across the three university budgets, the adjustments were not consistent,” the report stated. “Inconsistencies in production costs adjustments are also likely common across farms too.”

To read the post and review the results, click on this link: http://bit.ly/…

Retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. All fertilizers but one are now double-digits lower.

The one fertilizer no longer down double-digits is urea, which is now down 5%. UAN28 is now 10% less expensive while MAP is 11% lower. Both DAP and UAN32 are 12% lower, anhydrous is 13% less expensive, potash is 14% less expensive and 10-34-0 is 20% lower compared to a year prior.

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.


Source: DTN, by Russ Quin, DTN Staff Reporter

Late Application of Nitrogen

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Weather extremes has also caused growers to change the way they apply nitrogen to litigate loses from excessive rainfall when applying all their nitrogen ahead of planting. Read more

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Fall good time to buy fertilizer

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Farmers are better off buying fertilizer in fall or winter rather than waiting until spring 90 percent of the time, according to Alberta Agriculture.

The department has tracked urea, ammonia and phosphate prices for the past 10 years.

“There has only been one year, and that was in 2008, that spring prices were lower than fall-winter prices,” said Jennifer Stoby, an agricultural input market analyst with Alberta Agriculture.

She encouraged farmers to talk with their retailers this fall about their upcoming needs, especially for nitrogen fertilizers.

“With lower crop prices, guys have been hesitant to buy fertilizer and not really making any decisions,” said Stoby. “If they do wait until spring, there might be some problems actually even getting product.”

Growers who haven’t pre-bought product have faced supply shortages for the last few years, and it could be the same scenario next year.

“Retails aren’t bringing in nearly as much product just to have on hand the same as they have in the past,” said Stoby.

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Falling commodity prices mean growers are concerned with their profit per acre. Input costs have remained high and have not adjusted to where farmers believe they should be. Until prices change, strategic adjustments will have to be made to stay profitable during lower commodity pricing years. Thompsons has identified 5 ways to help you reduce production costs without sacrificing yield.

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Potassium is a key ingredient to producing quality crops

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