DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Continue to Hold Steady

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Average retail fertilizer prices showed little movement in either direction the fourth week of June 2017, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.

OMAHA (DTN) -- Continuing a trend seen over the past several weeks, average retail fertilizer prices showed little movement in either direction the fourth week of June 2017, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.

Of the eight major fertilizers, prices for all but one were slightly lower compared to a month prior. DAP had an average price of $437 per ton, MAP $470/ton, urea $333/ton, 10-34-0 $435/ton, anhydrous $484/ton, UAN28 $238/ton and UAN32 $268/ton.

The remaining fertilizer, potash, was just slightly higher compared to the previous month. Potash had an average price of $340/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.36/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.43/lb.N and UAN32 $0.42/lb.N.

In recent weeks in this column, we have examined different methods farmers use to sidedress nitrogen on their crops. Some apply anhydrous, UAN and urea at various stages of growth in corn production in an attempt to get the nutrients to the young corn plants right when they need it.

One topic we didn't touch on was the sidedressing of manure, a practice currently not widely done. Two researchers at Ohio State University Extension have redesigned a tool bar that allows farmers to put manure on a field while the crop is growing.

Glen Arnold, an OSU Extension manure management specialist, and Sam Custard, an OSU Extension educator in Darke County, created a system in which manure is pumped through a hose from a livestock facility manure pit and then fed through a refigured toolbar. The manure is injected into soil between the rows of growing corn, and then it is covered with soil.

Arnold said that, traditionally, manure is applied on the surface of fields after harvest. However, without a growing crop in the field to take up nutrients, much of the nitrogen either runs off the field or percolates through the soil uncaptured.

"A growing crop will reach out and grab much of the nitrogen," Arnold said. "It will love it."

For five years, Arnold conducted research on sidedressing manure. He initially used a tanker filled with liquid manure to sidedress manure, but he found using a dragline and manure sidedress toolbar was more efficient and weighed less. He pointed out that the dragline and toolbar caused very few plants to be crushed to death, a concern with many farmers.

For the last three years, the manure toolbar has been tested on fields in Darke County, which annually produces the second-highest number of hogs in the state of Ohio. The manure-sidedressed fields produced 13 more bushels of corn per acre compared to fields where commercial fertilizer were applied, Arnold said.

In addition, there was a savings of about $80 per acre from using manure instead of commercial fertilizer, he said.

"There's always a cost to the livestock farmer to apply manure to farm fields," Arnold said. "By capturing more of the nitrogen in the manure, the farmer can reduce the need to purchase commercial fertilizer and make a bigger profit."

To read more about the OSU manure sidedressing toolbar, including a video of the implement at work in the field, visit: https://agnr.osu.edu/….

Prices for all retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. Half of the eight major fertilizers are still double digits lower.

10-34-0 is 22% lower from a year ago while anhydrous is 14% less expensive, UAN32 is 12% lower and UAN28 10% less expensive. Urea is 9% lower, DAP is 6% less expensive and both MAP and potash are both 5% lower.

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):

June 27-July 1 2016 468 495 358 365
July 25-29 2016 459 492 356 356
Aug 22-26 2016 451 468 330 330
Sept 19-23 2016 443 453 319 323
Oct 17-21 2016 436 452 313 317
Nov 14-18 2016 436 445 315 327
Dec 12-16 2016 433 443 320 333
Jan 9-13 2017 432 441 320 338
Feb 6-10 2017 431 448 330 354
Mar 03-10 2017 436 460 336 361
Apr 3-7 2017 438 466 338 354
May 1-5 2017 436 466 339 351
May 29-Jun 2 2017 436 471 340 339
Jun 26-30 2017 437 470 340 333
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
June 27-July 1 2016 554 566 266 304
July 25-29 2016 543 545 257 304
Aug 22-26 2016 502 515 234 280
Sept 19-23 2016 470 494 225 271
Oct 17-21 2016 453 475 224 265
Nov 14-18 2016 445 466 219 256
Dec 12-16 2016 444 463 219 257
Jan 9-13 2017 437 467 222 258
Feb 6-10 2017 440 485 238 273
Mar 03-10 2017 441 503 246 279
Apr 3-7 2017 441 505 248 280
May 1-5 2017 436 508 247 280
May 29-Jun 2 2017 436 503 248 280
Jun 26-30 2017 435 484 238 268

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

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Russ Quinn