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DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends: Prices Continue to Slowly Shift Higher


Retail fertilizer prices continued to trend higher the fourth week of February 2018, according to retailers tracked by DTN.

All eight of the major fertilizers again are higher compared to last month, but only one fertilizer was up a significant amount. Nitrogen fertilizer UAN32 was 7% more expensive compared to month-earlier levels at an average price of $279/ton.

The remaining seven fertilizers were all higher compared to the prior month but none were up a notable amount. DAP had an average price of $461/ton; MAP $497/ton; potash $346/ton; urea $361/ton; 10-34-0 $416/ton; anhydrous $496/ton; and UAN28 $233/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N; anhydrous $0.30/lb.N; UAN28 $0.42/lb.N; and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N. 

As retail fertilizer prices continue to climb, farmers are taking a long look at their plans for the rapidly approaching 2018 growing season. The decision to apply fertilizer last fall and/or pre-purchase fertilizer for this spring looks to have been a good decision.

Mike Cooprider, a corn and soybean farmer from Jasonville, Indiana, said he applied both DAP and potash last fall. In addition, he also put down two tons per acre of turkey litter for which he paid $22 to $24 an acre. __ "We just signed a contract from another turkey grower for his manure at much lower price," Cooprider told DTN.

As for this spring, he pre-paid for anhydrous at $500/ton for sidedress operations as well as some UAN32 and ammonium polyphosphate (11-37-0).

Cooprider believes in tiling on his south-central Indiana farm. He owns his own tile plow, does his own tiling and he didn't get as much fall tillage done last fall as he wanted to plow in more field tile while the ground was still dry.

"Tiling, in my opinion, results in more bushels per acre for our farm consistently because earlier planting equals better yields and in a wet year the roots can breathe sooner," he said.

The recent rally in ag commodities is "a blessing" to sell more unpriced bushels both old and new crop but this rally will also probably push fertilizer even higher, Cooprider said.

Four fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices pushing up in recent months. UAN32 is now 1% more expensive; potash is 3% higher; DAP is 6% more expensive; and MAP is 8% higher than last year. __ The remaining four fertilizers are lower in price compared to a year prior. Both anhydrous and urea are 1% less expensive while both UAN28 and UAN32 are 5% lower looking back a 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.

Source: DTN/The Progressive Farmer