DTN Fertilizer Trends: Major Nutrient Prices Decline Yet Again

©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

The average retail price of all eight major fertilizers declined again the fourth week of August 2019, with nitrogen fertilizers setting the pace, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

This marks the third week in a row all prices have been lower.

Half of this week’s price declines were significant, which DTN considers a price change of 5% or more compared to the prior month. Of those, the price of both anhydrous and UAN32 were down 9% at $528 per ton and $290 per ton, respectively.

MAP was 7% lower than a month earlier, while UAN28 was down 6% from last month. The phosphorus fertilizer (MAP) had an average price of $494/ton, and UAN28 was $256/ton.

The remaining four fertilizers were lower in price than the same week in August, but the price moves were less significant. DAP had an average price of $491/ton, down $3; potash $387/ton, down $6; urea $412/ton, down $16; and 10-34-0 $470/ton, down $16.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.45/lb.N, anhydrous $0.32/lb.N, UAN28 $0.46/lb.N and UAN32 $0.46/lb.N.

As prices have moved lower in recent weeks, the price of MAP is now lower in price than it was at the same time last year, down 4%.

Seven of the eight major fertilizers continue to be higher compared to last year. DAP is 1% higher, 10-34-0 is 5% more expensive, UAN32 is 7% higher, potash is 8% more expensive, both anhydrous and UAN28 are 10% higher, and urea is 13% more expensive compared to last year.

Resist Any Urge To Apply More N?

While nitrogen fertilizer prices have sunk lower in recent weeks, the crop is starting to show nitrogen deficiency symptoms in cornfields across the Midwest.

Crops in the past few weeks have begun to show substantial nitrogen deficiency around the R3-R4 stage, according to a report titled “Late-season nitrogen deficiency in corn: What you need to know” by the University of Minnesota Extension in the Minnesota Crop News segment.

Brad Carlson, University of Minnesota Extension educator, wrote that the challenging conditions seen during planting led to less-than-ideal seedbeds, with compacted areas in many fields affecting rooting and a lot of early- season moisture that may have prevented deep rooting and potentially led to denitrification.

In addition, a widespread issue this year is compaction caused by manure application when fields were too wet.

“Given this year’s circumstances, there are many situations where the need has surpassed the supply,” Carlson wrote. “When these conditions develop this late in the season, it is too late to correct the problem.”

Research has shown that it is too late in the season to add nitrogen to increase yield, and the soil will continue to mineralize N as long as there are warm temperatures and adequate soil moisture.

If you are concerned about the nitrogen status of your crop, you can use the basal stalk nitrate test. While this test will not tell you what the right amount of nitrogen fertilizer should have been, it will tell you whether the crop had adequate, deficient or excessive amount of nitrogen, according to the report.

To read the entire University of Minnesota Extension report click here.

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.

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Aug 27-31 2018 487 513 357 365
Sep 24-28 2018 494 520 361 385
Oct 22-26 2018 499 518 366 406
Nov 19-23 2018 501 530 368 407
Dec 17-21 2018 508 532 377 407
Jan 14-18 2019 512 534 383 407
Feb 11-15 2019 512 537 385 405
Mar 11-15 2019 510 534 386 402
Apr 8-12 2019 505 532 387 404
May 6-10 2019 501 527 391 418
Jun 3-7 2019 497 527 392 434
Jul 1-5, 2019 498 532 392 432
Jul 29-Aug 2 2019 494 530 393 428
Aug 26-30 2019 491 494 387 412
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Aug 27-31 2018 446 480 233 271
Sep 24-28 2018 449 493 236 278
Oct 22-26 2018 457 499 243 284
Nov 19-23 2018 457 520 246 287
Dec 17-21 2018 457 565 265 304
Jan 14-18 2019 462 580 270 305
Feb 11-15 2019 470 596 271 318
Mar 11-15 2019 469 596 269 318
Apr 8-12 2019 481 592 271 317
May 6-10 2019 487 595 267 310
Jun 3-7 2019 487 591 271 314
Jul 1-5, 2019 482 584 276 317
Jul 29-Aug 2 2019 486 580 272 320
Aug 26-30 2019 470 528 256 290

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN


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