DTN Fertilizer Trend: Price Climb Slows

    Retail fertilizer prices continue to push higher, although at a much slower clip than past weeks, according to locations tracked by DTN for the third week of March 2021. Only seven of the eight major fertilizers were up a significant amount, which DTN designates as 5% or more, breaking a streak of six weeks in a row all eight were higher.

    The average retail price of UAN28 was up 35% from last month at $331/ton. UAN32 was 29% more expensive compared to the prior month with an average price of $373/ton.

    Anhydrous prices were 27% higher compared to a month ago at an average of $671/ton. 10-34-0 was up 14% with an average price of $596/ton.

    The remaining four fertilizers had slightly less sharp price spikes compared to the previous weeks. Urea was 9% more expensive looking back to last month with an average price of $496/ton.

    MAP was 7% higher from last month and had average price of $693/ton. Potash was 5% higher compared to last month and had average price of $424/ton.

    DAP prices increased by 3% from the prior month. The phosphorus fertilizer had an average price of $616/ton.

    On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.54/lb.N, anhydrous $0.41/lb.N, UAN28 $0.59/lb.N and UAN32 $0.58/lb.N.

    Higher retail fertilizer prices certainly have the attention of crop producers. University of Minnesota Extension Nutrient Management Specialist Dan Kaiser said he has talked to many growers this winter concerned about this issue.

    In response, Kaiser wrote an article for the Minnesota Crop News titled, “With Rising Fertilizer Prices, How Can Farmers Reduce Costs This Spring?” In it, he shared some tips for producers.

    The first thing he recommends would be to prioritize macronutrients over micronutrients. He said the simple fact is many farmers cannot afford to cut nutrient applications such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potash (K) and sulfur (S) for the sake of applying micronutrients because they likely will not have as high a return on investment.

    “The $5 per acre you may spend on micronutrients would be better spent on nutrients which form the foundation of your nutrient management program,” Kaiser wrote.

    Another important consideration would be to pay attention to P and K soils tests. Farmers can cut cost by skipping application where P and K are not needed and only applying these nutrients where they’re essential for crop development, he wrote.

    A third recommendation would be to make sure you are accounting for all of the nutrients you are applying. Kaiser wrote some of the fertilizer products applied contain multiple nutrients, and thus, producers need to make sure to credit nutrients from all products.

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    An example of this would be nitrogen in MAP and DAP. There is no simple answer as to how best to credit nitrogen from fall applications of MAP and DAP, he wrote.

    “The earlier they were applied in the fall, the more likely it is that the ammonium will convert to nitrate which may be lost before it can be taken up by the crop in the spring,” he wrote.

    He also said fertilizer enhancers and soil amendments can be risky investments and encouraged producers to stay up to date on the latest University of Minnesota Extension research. The entire article can be viewed here.

    With retail fertilizer prices moving higher over recent months, all fertilizers are now higher in price from a year ago.

    Potash is now 15% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 28% higher, urea is 30% more expensive, UAN32 34% higher, anhydrous is 37% more expensive, UAN28 is 41% higher, DAP is 51% more expensive and MAP 60% is higher compared to last 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.

    DRY
    Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
    Mar 16-20 2020 408 433 370 382
    Apr 13-17 2020 410 433 370 384
    May 11-15 2020 413 433 370 388
    Jun 8-12 2020 406 430 363 367
    Jul 6-10 2020 405 427 360 360
    Aug 3-7 2020 416 430 357 354
    Aug 31-Sep 4 2020 431 442 348 361
    Sep 28-Oct 2 2020 439 459 338 362
    Oct 26-30 2020 448 477 332 358
    Nov 23-27 2020 456 495 337 359
    Dec 21-25 2020 474 535 365 363
    Jan 18-22 2021 493 563 379 387
    Feb 15-19 2021 600 648 404 457
    Mar 15-19 2021 616 693 424 496
    LIQUID
    Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
    Mar 16-20 2020 466 491 235 278
    Apr 13-17 2020 468 492 236 279
    May 11-15 2020 468 492 237 280
    Jun 8-12 2020 468 472 235 276
    Jul 6-10 2020 467 461 233 272
    Aug 3-7 2020 465 455 222 262
    Aug 31-Sep 4 2020 459 436 216 254
    Sep 28-Oct 2 2020 457 424 212 250
    Oct 26-30 2020 456 423 209 249
    Nov 23-27 2020 457 424 210 249
    Dec 21-25 2020 463 461 210 250
    Jan 18-22 2021 481 482 215 251
    Feb 15-19 2021 522 530 245 288
    Mar 15-19 2021 596 671 331 373

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

    Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

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