DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Anhydrous Leads Fertilizer Prices Higher Again

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
Connect with Russ:
The average retail price of anhydrous was $519 per ton the second week of November 2018, 5% higher compared to last month. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- With one exception, retail fertilizer prices continued their trend of moving higher the second week of November 2018, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

One fertilizer -- anhydrous -- was significantly higher -- 5% higher compared to last month. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $519 per ton.

However, none of the remaining six fertilizers that were higher were up significantly. DAP had an average price of $500/ton, MAP $530/ton, potash $368/ton, urea $407/ton, UAN28 $245/ton, and UAN32 $287/ton.

One fertilizer was slightly lower compared to a month prior. 10-34-0 was just slightly lower with an average price of $457/ton. This marks the first week in which there has been a lower fertilizer price since the first week of September 2018, a period of 10 weeks.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.32/lb.N, UAN28 $0.44/lb.N, and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.

Among the speakers at the 2018 Fertilizer Outlook and Technology Conference held in Jacksonville, Florida, last week was David Myerholtz, a corn and soybean farmer from Gibsonburg, Ohio. Located about 30 miles from Toledo, he farms in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB), an area that attracted attention in 2014 when the city's water supply was shut down over high levels of toxic green algae in the lake.

The algae is a product of pollutants from both non-ag and ag sources in the lake. Research has shown that phosphorus fertilizer runs off farm fields in the basin into the Maumee River, which feeds into the lake.

Myerholtz has worked hard on his farm to assure he is applying fertilizer both correctly and efficiently. He is utilizing several different practices, including using the 4Rs (the right source, at the right rate, at the right time, with the right placement), subsurface-applied phosphorus, cover crops, soil and tissue sampling, and precision agriculture technologies.

During his presentation, he held up a three-ring binder roughly 3 inches thick that contained his nutrient management plan, which he devised all on his own. Farmers can find examples of these plans online if they didn't want to go on their own, Myerholtz said.

"I like data, and we are trying to evolve," Myerholtz said. "I try to use data to make all of this more practical."

Myerholtz farms with his father, Lowell. The pair were recognized as 4R Advocates in 2016 by The Fertilizer Institute. The Myerholtzes, along with their fertilizer retailer, John Fritz of the Andersons of Fremont, Ohio, were given the award.

Myerholtz works closely with his fertilizer retailer and a crop consultant to assure he is applying fertilizer as efficiently as possible and also attempting to limit the effects on the environment. He has seen improvement to his nutrient plan over the years and hopes this continues in the future, he said.

All eight of the major fertilizers now are higher compared to last year with prices shifting up in recent months. UAN32 is 6% higher, potash is 8% more expensive, both 10-34-0 and UAN28 are 13% higher, both DAP and MAP are 15% more expensive, urea is 20% higher and anhydrous is now 27% 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.

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Nov 13-17 2017 435 459 342 339
Dec 11-15 2017 439 479 343 340
Jan 8-12 2018 456 491 346 352
Feb 5-9 2018 458 493 344 355
Mar 5-9 2018 463 503 349 367
Apr 2-6 2018 478 508 352 370
Apr 30-May 4 2018 485 505 353 368
May 28-June 1 2018 483 504 354 364
Jun 25-29 2018 485 505 354 364
Jul 23-27 2018 486 504 356 366
Aug 20-24 2018 487 514 356 364
Sep 17-21 2018 494 520 362 384
Oct 15-19 2018 498 518 365 405
Nov 12-16 2018 500 530 368 407
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Nov 13-17 2017 403 410 216 272
Dec 11-15 2017 403 434 218 256
Jan 8-12 2018 410 479 220 258
Feb 5-9 2018 415 492 227 261
Mar 5-9 2018 422 499 234 272
Apr 2-6 2018 425 508 239 274
Apr 30-May 4 2018 431 510 241 277
May 28-June 1 2018 439 504 241 276
Jun 25-29 2018 440 504 242 277
Jul 23-27 2018 442 501 243 279
Aug 20-24 2018 446 481 233 271
Sep 17-21 2018 448 494 239 278
Oct 15-19 2018 457 494 243 283
Nov 12-16 2018 457 519 245 287

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(AG/)

Russ Quinn