OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN the last week of August 2016 continued to show significant declines for the fourth consecutive week. All eight major fertilizers slid lower compared to a month earlier, and all but one fertilizer have seen significant price drops.
UAN28 and UAN32 were 9% less expensive compared to the previous month. UAN28 averaged $233 per ton and UAN32 $275/ton.
Urea and potash both fell 8% compared to last month. Potash averaged $327/ton and urea $326/ton. Both 10-34-0 and anhydrous were 7% lower compared to last month. The starter's average price was $493/ton while anhydrous averaged $509/ton.
MAP was 6% less expensive compared to the last week of July. MAP's average price was $464/ton.
The only fertilizer not to see a significant price decline was DAP. The phosphorus fertilizer had only a slight price decline and an average price of $449/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.35/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.43/lb.N.
With retail fertilizer prices dropping considerably in recent weeks, one has to wonder if these lower prices will prompt farmers to finally pre-order fertilizer for the 2017 growing season. For many months now, fertilizer retailers have reported their growers have not been locking in much fertilizer needs for the next growing season, betting that prices haven't bottomed yet.
One farmer who did lock in some fertilizer is Ward Taylor, who farms in west-central Kansas. He recently priced some of his fertilizer needs for his upcoming winter wheat crop.
"The rumor is that they (fertilizer prices) will get lower yet, so I have not locked in the rest for the wheat crop or for next year's corn yet," Taylor told DTN.
Despite lower fertilizer prices, not all farmers are jumping at the chance to lock in fertilizer needs. Bob Birdsell, who farms near Stanberry, Missouri, said he never pre-orders fertilizer and it has nothing to do with prices.
"I share-crop most of what I farm, so landlords are not real excited about it," Birdsell said. "I'm afraid it would be a nightmare trying to keep everything straight."
Birdsell said even if he could pre-purchase fertilizer, he probably would not want to do it as he would hate to have money tied up that long. He hopes prices stay lower as he plans on applying some fertilizer this fall after this year's crop has been harvested.
Retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. All fertilizers are now double digits lower.
10-34-0 is now down 18%, both DAP and MAP are 20% lower and UAN32 is 21% less expensive. Both anhydrous and UAN28 are now 23% lower, urea is down 26% and potash is 31% lower compared to a year ago.
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 November 2008 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):
|Aug 31-Sept 4 2015||564||583||471||439|
|Sept 28-Oct 2 2015||561||573||450||424|
|Oct 26-30 2015||546||562||431||409|
|Nov 23-27 2015||543||556||422||397|
|Dec 21-25 2015||519||541||408||390|
|Jan 18-22 2016||495||520||392||381|
|Feb 15-19 2016||477||496||375||370|
|Mar 14-18 2016||477||499||369||390|
|Apr 11-15 2016||480||504||367||388|
|May 9-13 2016||476||502||366||385|
|June 6-10 2016||470||498||359||370|
|July 4-8 2016||469||496||359||361|
|Aug 1-5 2016||459||488||346||349|
|Aug 29-Sept 2 2016||449||464||327||326|
|Aug 31-Sept 4 2015||602||659||304||349|
|Sept 28-Oct 2 2015||594||644||295||342|
|Oct 26-30 2015||583||638||292||334|
|Nov 23-27 2015||580||624||286||325|
|Dec 21-25 2015||571||608||277||330|
|Jan 18-22 2016||571||581||272||319|
|Feb 15-19 2016||565||538||259||309|
|Mar 14-18 2016||560||566||276||312|
|Apr 11-15 2016||560||587||273||318|
|May 9-13 2016||561||588||274||321|
|June 6-10 2016||556||569||267||310|
|July 4-8 2016||546||554||261||304|
|Aug 1-5 2016||548||552||254||307|
|Aug 29-Sept 2 2016||493||509||233||275|
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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