The retail fertilizer market appears to be stuck on replay, as average prices for most fertilizers moved higher again the last week of January 2018, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.
All but one of the eight major fertilizers were higher compared to a month earlier. One difference from previous weeks was that anhydrous was not significantly higher (5% or more) as it has been for the last eight consecutive weeks.
Seven of the eight major fertilizers were slightly higher than a month ago. DAP had an average price of $458 per ton, MAP $492/ton, urea $355/ton, 10-34-0 $415/ton, anhydrous $491/ton, UAN28 $227/ton and UAN32 $261/ton.
One fertilizer was actually slightly lower for the second week in a row compared to the previous month. Potash had an average price of $344 per ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.41/lb.N and UAN32 $0.41/lb.N.
With higher retail fertilizer prices in the last few months, DTN has been asking farmers if this will alter how they apply fertilizer in the 2018 growing season. Will they apply less fertilizer, change to different forms of fertilizer, or maybe even change crops to limit the need for nutrients?
Tim Malterer has adjusted his fertility plan in recent years. The Janesville, Minnesota, farmer/agronomist has gone to a plan of applying an additional percentage of fertilizer above the amount needed to reach a certain yield goal in an attempt to slowly build fertility.
“On some fields, I have good yield history, and those I use zone to help manage where I put fertilizer,” Malterer told DTN. “On others, I don’t (have a good yield history), so I’m taking the average and applying above that level.”
In addition, he also has some fields to which he can apply hog manure. He will apply in a way to manage the nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potash (K) in the manure, as he can’t change the manure analysis.
Like many farmers last fall, Malterer was able to apply some fertilizer after harvest before retail prices started to rise. He already locked in the fertilizer he will apply in the spring in December and January.
“I have also been looking closer at the micros and additives and squeezing the data we get off our farm to make sure that what I’m applying is giving me a positive return on investment (ROI),” Malterer said.
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All but three fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices pushing higher in recent months. Urea is 1% higher, anhydrous is now 2% more expensive, potash is 5% higher, DAP is 7% more expensive and MAP is 10% higher than last year.
Three fertilizers are still lower in price compared to a year prior. UAN32 is 3% lower while UAN28 is 4% less expensive and 10-34-0 is 5% lower looking back a year.
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):
|Jan 30-Feb 3 2017||430||448||329||353|
|Feb 27-Mar 03 2017||436||458||335||361|
|Mar 27-31 2017||438||465||338||356|
|Apr 24-28 2017||437||466||338||352|
|May 22-26 2017||436||471||340||343|
|Jun 19-23 2017||436||470||340||333|
|Jul 17-21 2017||435||464||339||309|
|Aug 14-18 2017||434||460||338||305|
|Sep 11-15 2017||431||456||336||310|
|Oct 9-13 2017||432||453||347||325|
|Nov 6-10 2017||434||459||341||338|
|Dec 4-8 2017||438||471||343||344|
|Jan 1-5 2018||452||490||345||350|
|Jan 29-Feb 2 2018||458||492||344||355|
|Jan 30-Feb 3 2017||439||482||236||270|
|Feb 27-Mar 03 2017||440||502||246||279|
|Mar 27-31 2017||441||508||248||279|
|Apr 24-28 2017||437||509||247||280|
|May 22-26 2017||436||503||249||280|
|Jun 19-23 2017||435||497||243||273|
|Jul 17-21 2017||425||425||229||265|
|Aug 14-18 2017||419||419||216||251|
|Sep 11-15 2017||416||412||210||248|
|Oct 9-13 2017||413||397||206||253|
|Nov 6-10 2017||403||409||216||272|
|Dec 4-8 2017||404||424||215||251|
|Jan 1-5 2018||409||474||219||256|
|Jan 29-Feb 2 2018||415||491||227||261|
Russ Quinn can be reached at email@example.com
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