DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail prices for most fertilizers continued to move higher, while the price for two fertilizers moved lower during the first week of December 2017, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

As has been the case for two weeks in a row, six of the eight major fertilizer prices were higher compared to the previous month. Also, like last week, none of the six were up a noteworthy amount.

DAP had an average price of $438/ton, MAP $471/ton, potash $343, urea $344/ton, 10-34-0 $404/ton and anhydrous $424/ton.

The two remaining fertilizers were lower in price compared to a month earlier, but once again, neither was down a sizeable amount. UAN28 had an average price of $215/ton while 10-34-0 was at $251/ton.

On a price-per-pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.37/lb.N, anhydrous $0.25/lb.N, UAN28 $0.39/lb.N and UAN32 $0.42/lb.N.

With harvest completed in most of the Corn Belt and favorable weather hanging on, farmers may consider applying anhydrous before winter weather comes. A recent news article from the University of Missouri Extension titled "Fall Anhydrous Applications Carry Risks and Rewards" looks at the pros and cons of applying the fertilizer in the fall.

Andy Luke, University of Missouri Extension regional agronomy specialist, said mild weather into December has allowed fieldwork to continue. Some Missouri farmers chose the fall to apply anhydrous to spread the workload from the busy period and also to take advantage of generally lower fertilizer prices compared to the spring, he said.

"What makes fall applications of anhydrous ammonia risky are unknown weather conditions that may lead to N loss before spring," Luke said.

Luke said there are a few steps to lower the risk of leaching or denitrification.

First, only apply anhydrous after soil temperatures have reached 50 degrees Fahrenheit and are falling. Secondly, be sure to use a nitrification inhibitor. While they cannot eliminate nitrification completely, inhibitors help to keep it in the immobile ammonium form until it is ready to be used by the crop, he said.

Luke also recommended always make sure soil conditions are right and that N is not being lost to volatilization at application. Lastly, do not apply all the N in the fall that you are planning to use for next year's crops.

"Think of a fall application as insurance that N will be available early for the 2018's corn, but plan to supplement additional N to meet your growing needs," he advised.

To read the entire University of Missouri Extension news article, visit https://extension2.missouri.edu/….

Four fertilizer prices are now higher compared to last year. DAP is 1% higher, urea is 3% more expensive, MAP is 6% higher and potash is now 8% more expensive.

The remaining four fertilizers are lower compared to a year prior. Both UAN28 and UAN32 are 2% lower while both anhydrous and 10-34-0 are 9% less expensive.

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):

Dec 5-9 2016 434 443 318 333
Jan 2-6 2017 431 442 322 339
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
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Dec 5-9 2016 445 463 219 257
Jan 2-6 2017 436 465 218 255
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

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

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN


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