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DTN Fertilizer Trends: Prices Steady as Growers Sidedress Corn

Ernst Undesser
By Russ Quinn, DTN Staff Reporter June 8, 2017

DTN Fertilizer Trends: Prices Steady as Growers Sidedress Corn

Sidedressing Corn. Photo: Case-IH

As in recent weeks, retail fertilizer prices continued steady during the last week of May 2017, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

Of the eight major fertilizers, half were just slightly higher compared to a month earlier. These were DAP, MAP, potash, and UAN28. DAP had an average price of $436/ton, MAP $471/ton, potash $340/ton and UAN28 $248/ton.

The remaining four fertilizers were slightly lower in price from last month. Urea had an average price of $339/ton, 10-34-0 $436/ton, anhydrous $503/ton and UAN32 $280/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.37/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.44/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

In last week’s column, we took a closer look at sidedressing nitrogen on corn, a practice happening right now across the Corn Belt. Farmers have different thoughts on the increasingly popular practice of applying nitrogen when young corn plants need the nutrients the most.

Jay Culver, a farmer/agronomist from Iroquois, South Dakota, said he will sidedress all his corn acres. He will start around V4 and keep an eye on the weather forecast, considering weather could affect his timing.

“If the corn outgrows the sidedress bar, we will switch to topdressing with a spinner box using urea on sprayer chassis, Y-drops with 28% or even use an airplane with urea,” Culver told DTN.

Culver said one thing he learned with sidedressing on his east-central South Dakota farming operation was what rates of nitrogen to leave back from the first application for the in-season trip. He settled on having about two-thirds of his anticipated nitrogen needs on before emergence then an in-season application for the balance, he said.

Farther to south, Daren Niemeyer, who farms near Bladen, Nebraska, manages sidedressing on his farm similarly. He starts applying at about fifth or sixth leaf stage, but he has not been able to cover all of his acres before the corn is too tall. He will employ an injection machine to get all of his acres covered with nitrogen.

He has been using liquid nitrogen the last 10 years or so in a no-till corn operation. Along with increasing yields, Niemeyer said he has also seen a large increase in the organic matter in his south-central Nebraska soils.

“I have some fields that are 3.6% to 3.7% organic matter now,” Niemeyer said. “That is an increase of about 1 to 1.5 percentage points.”

Retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. Half of the eight major fertilizers are still double digits lower.

10-34-0 is 22% lower from a year ago, anhydrous is 13% less expensive, UAN32 is 11% lower and urea is down 10%. DAP is 8% less expensive, UAN28 is 7% lower and both MAP and potash are 6% less expensive.

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
May 30-June 3 2016 473 499 363 375
June 27-July 1 2016 468 495 358 365
July 25-29 2016 459 492 356 356
Aug 22-26 2016 451 468 330 330
Sept 19-23 2016 443 453 319 323
Oct 17-21 2016 436 452 313 317
Nov 14-18 2016 436 445 315 327
Dec 12-16 2016 433 443 320 333
Jan 9-13 2017 432 441 320 338
Feb 6-10 2017 431 448 330 354
Mar 03-10 2017 436 460 336 361
Apr 3-7 2017 438 466 338 354
May 1-5 2017 436 466 339 351
May 29-Jun 2 2017 436 471 340 339
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
May 30-June 3 2016 559 579 268 313
June 27-July 1 2016 554 566 266 304
July 25-29 2016 543 545 257 304
Aug 22-26 2016 502 515 234 280
Sept 19-23 2016 470 494 225 271
Oct 17-21 2016 453 475 224 265
Nov 14-18 2016 445 466 219 256
Dec 12-16 2016 444 463 219 257
Jan 9-13 2017 437 467 222 258
Feb 6-10 2017 440 485 238 273
Mar 03-10 2017 441 503 246 279
Apr 3-7 2017 441 505 248 280
May 1-5 2017 436 508 247 280
May 29-Jun 2 2017 436 503 248 280

Russ Quinn can be reached at russ.quinn@dtn.com

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

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Ernst Undesser
By Russ Quinn, DTN Staff Reporter June 8, 2017