DTN Fertilizer Trends: Prices Continue to Skyrocket

    Retail fertilizer prices continue to skyrocket higher, according to locations tracked by DTN for the third week of November 2021. As has been the case for months now, all eight of the major fertilizers were higher.

    Seven of the eight fertilizers recorded a considerable move higher compared to last month. DTN designates a significant move as anything 5% or more.

    Leading the way higher was UAN32, which was up a whopping 32% from a month prior. The liquid nitrogen fertilizer’s average price was at $651/ton, which continues to be an all-time high in the DTN data set.

    Anhydrous was 30% more expensive compared to last month with the average price at $1,220/ton; this is also an all-time high. UAN28 was 27% higher, looking back a month with the average price of $571/ton, also an all-time high.

    Urea was 17% more expensive compared to last month with an average price of $859/ton, again an all-time high with DTN data. 10-34-0 was 12% more expense looking back to last month with an average price of $739/ton.

    A couple fertilizers were “only” single digits higher. Potash was 8% high compared to last month and had an average price of $769/ton. MAP was up 6% from last month and had an average price of $911/ton.

    One fertilizer, DAP, had just a slight price increase. The phosphorus fertilizer had average price of $825/ton.

    On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.93/lb.N, anhydrous $0.74/lb.N, UAN28 $1.02/lb.N and UAN32 $1.02/lb.N.

    With high fertilizer prices, corn producers could be thinking about what practices they could employ with their fertilizer plan to become even more efficient. In a post to the Minnesota Crop News blog titled “High Nitrogen Fertilizer Costs: What Should Corn Growers be Thinking About?”, authors Brad Carlson and Fabian Fernandez explore the topic (here).

    The pair made a Top 5 list of taking nitrogen fertilizer into consideration for the 2022 growing season.

    The first suggestion was for Minnesota corn producers to make sure they are complying with the state’s nitrogen fertilizer rule. There are areas of the state in which nitrogen can only be applied in the spring.

    Another recommendation was a lower nitrogen rate makes sense at the current price ratio. The current ratio (the cost of N fertilizer to the price of corn) is 0.16, with a long-term average of 0.10 price ratio.

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    “Our current N rate tables show an average recommendation of 165 lbs. N/acre for corn-following-corn and 130 lbs. N/acre for corn-following-soybeans at the 0.10 price ratio,” they wrote. “At the 0.15 ratio, the recommended N rate drops to 150 lbs. N/acre for corn-following-corn and 115 lbs. N/acre for corn-following soybeans.”

    A couple suggestions were related to the dry conditions Minnesota saw this growing season. One was to test for residual N to see if you can take an N credit and the other one was to take the dry 2021 growing season into consideration.

    The last recommendation from University of Minnesota Extension was that 2022 could be a good year for applying N in-season. This practice gives farmers more time to make more informed fertilizer decisions, the article said.

    Retail fertilizer prices compared to a year ago show all have increased significantly, with several fertilizers having well-over 100% price increases.

    10-34-0 is now 62% more expensive, DAP is 81% higher, MAP is 86% more expensive, potash is 129% higher, urea is 140% more expensive, UAN32 is 161% higher, UAN28 176% is more expensive and anhydrous is 188% higher compared to last year.

    DTN surveys more than 300 retailers, gathering roughly 1,700 fertilizer price bids, to compile the DTN Fertilizer Index each week. In addition to national averages, MyDTN subscribers can access the full DTN Fertilizer Index, which includes state averages, here.

    Retail fertilizer prices continue to climb higher, led higher by four fertilizers at all-time high prices. You can read it here.

    DRY
    Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
    Nov 16-20 2020 455 488 336 358
    Dec 14-18 2020 466 522 360 361
    Jan 11-15 2021 486 551 373 373
    Feb 8-12 2021 588 642 398 453
    Mar 8-12 2021 615 690 423 483
    Apr 5-9 2021 618 699 431 504
    May 3-7 2021 634 705 436 514
    May 31-Jun 4 2021 652 712 443 524
    Jun 28-Jul 2 2021 677 721 476 542
    Jul 26-30 2021 695 753 549 554
    Aug 23-27 2021 697 756 569 557
    Sep 20-24 2021 709 786 625 585
    Oct 18-22 2021 810 863 716 735
    Nov 15-19 2021 825 911 769 859
    Liquid
    Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
    Nov 16-20 2020 455 422 207 249
    Dec 14-18 2020 463 450 210 253
    Jan 11-15 2021 469 474 210 247
    Feb 8-12 2021 512 524 243 285
    Mar 8-12 2021 581 625 306 344
    Apr 5-9 2021 605 692 341 378
    May 3-7 2021 618 712 358 398
    May 31-Jun 4 2021 619 719 363 412
    Jun 28-Jul 2 2021 625 730 366 421
    Jul 26-30 2021 631 737 365 419
    Aug 23-27 2021 632 748 370 420
    Sep 20-24 2021 633 772 383 436
    Oct 18-22 2021 659 940 451 492
    Nov 15-19 2021 739 1220 571 651

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

    Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

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