Retail fertilizer prices continue to move higher slowly, according to prices tracked by DTN for the second week of October 2018. For the fifth week in a row, all eight major fertilizers were higher compared to a month earlier.
None of the eight, however, were up a significant amount. DAP had an average price of $501/ton, MAP $523/ton, potash $365/ton, urea $393/ton, 10-34-0 $452/ton, anhydrous $488/ton, UAN28 $238/ton and UAN32 $280/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.43/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.43/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.
A recent DTN 360 Poll asked farmers: “With the fall fertilizer application season rapidly approaching, what best describes your fall fertilizer application season plan?”
The poll received nearly 400 responses between Sept. 14 and Oct. 15.
— 45% chose “I do not plan to apply fertilizer this fall as I apply everything in the spring.”
— 27% picked “I plan on applying fertilizer this fall and I have locked in some of my fertilizer prices.
— 21% responded “I plan on applying fertilizer this fall but have not yet locked in fertilizer prices.”
— 6% said “I plan on applying fertilizer this fall and will not be locking in fertilizer prices.”
DTN asked a similar question last fall at the same time: “With harvest rapidly approaching, fall fertilizer application is also not that far away. What best describes to how you are handling fertilizer purchases for fall application?”
— 52% of respondents said “Will not per-order fertilizer at all for fall application.”
— 29% chose “Will purchase fertilizer within the next month for fall application.” —
12% said “Pre-ordered fertilizer within the last month for fall application”
— 7% responded with “Pre-ordered fertilizer months ago for fall application.”
Even though the questions weren’t worded the same, they yield an interesting comparison. When you combine the answers about pre-ordering fertilizer, 48% of respondents locked in fertilizer prices ahead of application last year, while this year, only 27% did so.
Several factors could be driving this divergence. It’s been a wet, slow harvest across a wide swath of the Corn Belt this year, and some farmers may run out of time to apply fertilizer this fall.
Another possibility: higher prices. Compared to last year, the retail price of all eight major fertilizers tracked by DTN are higher, with urea and anhydrous leading the way at 21% and 23% more expensive, respectively. Potash is 5% higher, 10-34-0 and UAN32 are both 10% more expensive, while UAN28, DAP and MAP are all 16% higher.
DTN would like to know: Are you pre-pricing fertilizer this year? Why or why not? Are your concerns primarily around the expense, the last harvest season or uncertainty about what you plan to grow next year?
Please send responses to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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