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):
|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|
|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 email@example.com
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