DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Most Fertilizer Prices Continue to Inch Higher Second Week of July

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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The average retail price of 10-34-0 the second week of July was $443 per ton, up slightly from $440 the second week of June. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail prices for most fertilizers continued to inch higher the second week of July 2018, continuing a trend that has been in place for the last several weeks, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

Six of the eight major fertilizers were slightly higher compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $485 per ton, urea $366/ton, 10-34-0 $443/ton, anhydrous $505/ton, UAN28 $242/ton and UAN32 $279/ton.

Two fertilizers were slightly lower from the previous month. MAP had an average price of $504/ton and potash $354/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.40/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.43/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

While most of the fertilizer application season is already complete, some farmers may still be considering applying nitrogen even now as the corn has pollinated. This may or may not be having an effect on retail fertilizer prices remaining higher.

Areas of the Western Corn Belt received heavy rains in late June with some regions seeing anywhere from 10 to 20 inches of precipitation during the month. This situation could put applied nitrogen in some fields in jeopardy of being lost.

In an unscientific Twitter poll, I asked corn producers in early July what best describes the amount of nitrogen left in their fields. The day-long poll yielded just 20 responses, but 45% of respondents said they were OK with how much nitrogen was left in their fields. Forty percent said they didn't really know how much nitrogen was left in their fields, while only 15% said they would apply more nitrogen.

Despite these poll results, some farmers may still decide to apply more nitrogen, especially those with center-pivot irrigation systems. In the July 12 edition of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Extension CropWatch newsletter, a farmer from northeastern Nebraska asked if adding nitrogen through fertigation (fertilizer applied through the center-pivot irrigation system) would endanger pollination.

Tom Hoegemeyer, UNL corn breeder and adjunct professor of practice, responded by saying pollination isn't a particularly fragile time to apply water and nitrogen. Pollination takes place between 8:30 a.m. and noon, he said.

"When the temperature is 90 to 95 degrees F, the pollen is killed by heat and is seldom viable past 2 p.m.," Hoegemeyer said. "That leaves lots of time to run pivots, apply nitrogen, etc. when it won't hurt pollination."

Hoegemeyer also recommended nitrogen be applied as soon as it's practical.

Nitrogen use is very high during the pre-tassel growth phase and again at kernel growth, from one to three weeks post pollination, he said. About seven to 10 days post pollination (before brown silk), lower nitrogen will start causing kernel abortion and serious yield loss could be seen.

To the read the entire UNL CropWatch post, visit https://cropwatch.unl.edu/….

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher in recent months. Both 10-34-0 and UAN28 are 3% higher, both potash and UAN32 are 4% more expensive, MAP is 8% higher, DAP is 11% more expensive, anhydrous is 12% higher and urea is 14% more expensive 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.

DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Jul 10-14 2017 436 467 340 321
Aug 7-11 2017 434 462 339 311
Sep 4-8 2017 431 458 338 302
Oct 2-6 2017 425 453 348 323
Oct 27-Nov 3 2017 434 455 348 330
Nov 27-Dec 1 2017 435 460 342 340
Dec 25-29 2017 448 488 344 348
Jan 22-26 2018 458 492 344 353
Feb 19-23 2018 460 496 345 357
Mar 19-23 2018 469 504 349 368
Apr 16-20 2018 484 502 353 368
May 14-18 2018 483 505 354 368
Jun 11-15 2018 484 505 354 364
Jul 9-13 2018 485 504 354 366
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Jul 10-14 2017 431 451 235 268
Aug 7-11 2017 440 419 224 258
Sep 4-8 2017 418 413 215 248
Oct 2-6 2017 413 399 208 243
Oct 27-Nov 3 2017 405 401 208 262
Nov 27-Dec 1 2017 403 417 216 271
Dec 25-29 2017 407 468 216 254
Jan 22-26 2018 415 490 226 261
Feb 19-23 2018 416 495 231 265
Mar 19-23 2018 422 503 236 269
Apr 16-20 2018 431 508 240 275
May 14-18 2018 439 510 241 276
Jun 11-15 2018 440 503 241 277
Jul 9-13 2018 443 505 242 279

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(AG/CZ)

Russ Quinn