OMAHA (DTN) -- Prices for most retail fertilizers continued to inch higher the fourth week of April 2018. But for a growing number of fertilizers, prices were down from last month, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.
Last week was the first time multiple fertilizers had lower prices in several months. This week, three of the eight major fertilizers were lower in price compared to the previous month. MAP, urea and anhydrous were all slightly lower. MAP had an average price of $504 per ton, urea $367/ton and anhydrous $507/ton.
The remaining five fertilizers saw minor price increases from last month. DAP had an average price of $485 per ton, potash $353/ton, 10-34-0 $431/ton, UAN28 $241/ton and UAN32 $277/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 $0.43/lb.N.
With farmers finally able to begin fieldwork in many Corn Belt locations, the topic of nitrogen fertilizer application is a timely one. The April 19 edition of the e-newsletter CropWatch from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) featured an article by several UNL soil specialists titled "Nitrogen Fertilizer Stabilizers in Corn."
UNL researchers have done several different short- and long-term studies on the effectiveness of nitrogen fertilizer stabilizers.
In a 28-year study near Clay Center (in south-central Nebraska), the nitrification inhibitor (NI) nitrapyrin was evaluated along with spring-applied anhydrous on a silt loam soil. A positive yield response was observed 36% of the time. However, a negative yield response was observed 18% of the time with the remaining 46% having no effect on yield.
Urease inhibitors (UI) have also been tested in central Nebraska for the last three years. Urea or urea-ammonium was surface-applied near corn planting time with and without UI.
In all years, using UI decreased potential ammonia volatilization losses from 3.6 to 13.3 pounds of nitrogen per acre less than fertilizer alone. This meant 3%-to-7% of applied N was not lost, according to the article.
Slow-release coated fertilizers were also studied by UNL researchers. A three-year study was conducted in south-central Nebraska in coarse-textured soils to demonstrate the benefit of using poly-coated urea.
This product consistently improved corn yield compared to UAN at various rates of application. Averaged across nitrogen rates, corn yield with the poly-coated urea was greater than UAN by 49%.
"Nitrogen fertilizer stabilizer use will only have a positive impact on yield if weather conditions are conducive to nitrogen losses to the point of nitrogen becoming limiting in relation to crop demand," the article concludes.
For the complete UNL CropWatch article, visit https://cropwatch.unl.edu/….
Half of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices pushing higher in recent months. Both potash and urea are now 4% higher, MAP is 8% more expensive and DAP is 11% higher compared to last year.
The remaining four fertilizers are lower in price compared to a year prior. 10-34-0, anhydrous and UAN32 are all 1% lower, while UAN28 is 3% less expensive looking back a 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):
|Apr 24-28 2017||437||466||338||352|
|May 22-26 2017||436||471||340||343|
|Jun 19-23 2017||436||470||340||333|
|Jul 17-21 2017||435||464||339||309|
|Aug 14-18 2017||434||460||338||305|
|Sep 11-15 2017||431||456||336||310|
|Oct 9-13 2017||432||453||347||325|
|Nov 6-10 2017||434||459||341||338|
|Dec 4-8 2017||438||471||343||344|
|Jan 1-5 2018||452||490||345||350|
|Jan 29-Feb 2 2018||458||492||344||355|
|Feb 26-Mar 2 2018||461||497||346||361|
|Mar 26-30 2018||470||506||350||370|
|Apr 23-27 2018||485||504||353||367|
|Apr 24-28 2017||437||509||247||280|
|May 22-26 2017||436||503||249||280|
|Jun 19-23 2017||435||497||243||273|
|Jul 17-21 2017||425||425||229||265|
|Aug 14-18 2017||419||419||216||251|
|Sep 11-15 2017||416||412||210||248|
|Oct 9-13 2017||413||397||206||253|
|Nov 6-10 2017||403||409||216||272|
|Dec 4-8 2017||404||424||215||251|
|Jan 1-5 2018||409||474||219||256|
|Jan 29-Feb 2 2018||415||491||227||261|
|Feb 26-Mar 2 2018||416||496||233||279|
|Mar 26-30 2018||425||507||237||272|
|Apr 23-27 2018||431||507||241||277|
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN
Copyright 2018 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.