OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer price movement continued to be mixed the third week of March 2019, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. This marked the fourth week in a row in which at least some prices declined.
Prices for half of the eight major fertilizers were slightly lower compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $509 per ton, MAP $533/ton, urea $401/ton and UAN28 $270/ton.
The other half of fertilizers were slightly higher in price. Potash had an average price of $386/ton, 10-34-0 $470/ton, anhydrous $597/ton and UAN32 $318/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.36/lb.N, UAN28 $0.48/lb.N and UAN32 $0.50/lb.N.
With spring fieldwork set to begin soon, nitrogen application trips across the Midwest will be occurring. More nitrogen than usual will be applied this spring because of wet weather limiting application last fall.
But before producers start applying nitrogen, they may want to consider reducing the amount they apply this spring as a way to save money, according to a recent report in the University of Illinois Farmdoc Daily e-newsletter. Gary Schnitkey from the university's department of agricultural and consumer economics and Laura Gentry from the department of natural resources and environmental sciences wrote an article in the newsletter on March 18 titled "The Economic Advisability of Lowering 2019 Nitrogen Application Rates on Corn."
The pair wrote that two overriding economic factors suggest the urgency in lowering nitrogen rates this spring. The first is that net incomes on Illinois farms could be extremely low in 2019. Projections indicate average income on grain farms enrolled in Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) could be minus $55,000, the lowest average income since FBFM began collecting consistent income data starting in the 1970s.
"Given these low incomes, reducing costs is crucial, particularly if those costs do not increase revenue," Schnitkey and Gentry wrote.
Secondly, nitrogen fertilizer prices have increased and will be at a level above the prices the last three years. A higher nitrogen price suggests lowering applications, particularly given that the 2019 expected corn price is roughly at the same level as in 2017 and 2018, the two wrote.
The maximum return to nitrogen (MRTN) rates are available from the Corn Nitrogen Rate Calculator, a website maintained by universities in the Corn Belt states. The MRTN gives the nitrogen rate that, over time, will produce the highest economic return for nitrogen use.
Click this link to use the calculator:
For corn following soybeans, anhydrous in northern Illinois has a recommended rate of 157 pounds per acre, central is 174 lbs./acre and south is 180 lbs./acre. For UAN28, north is 144 lbs./acre, central is 163 lbs./acre and south is 166 lbs./acre.
In corn following corn for anhydrous, the north and central recommendations are 200 lbs./acre, while south is 193 lbs./acre. For UAN28, the north is 186 lbs./acre, central is 188 lbs./acre and south is 180 lbs./acre.
"Applications of nitrogen in the MRTNs have additional costs," Schnitkey and Gentry wrote. "Given the nitrogen prices above, every 10-pound application of actual nitrogen applied above the MRTN has a cost of $3.70 per acre for anhydrous and $5.00 per acre for UAN28."
You can read the entire Farmdoc Daily report here:
All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher. MAP is 6% more expensive, both DAP and urea are 9% higher, potash is 10% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 11% higher, UAN28 is 14% more expensive, UAN32 is 18% more expensive and anhydrous is now 19% higher 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.
|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|
|Aug 6-10 2018||487||507||356||363|
|Sep 3-7 2018||488||514||358||366|
|Oct 1-5 2018||501||523||364||389|
|Oct 29-Nov 2 2018||506||528||366||408|
|Nov 26-30 2018||501||530||369||409|
|Dec 24-28 2018||507||533||379||407|
|Jan 21-25 2019||512||535||383||409|
|Feb 18-22 2019||512||536||385||404|
|Mar 18-22 2019||509||533||386||401|
|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|
|Aug 6-10 2018||445||482||233||271|
|Sep 3-7 2018||446||480||232||271|
|Oct 1-5 2018||451||488||237||279|
|Oct 29-Nov 2 2018||457||505||245||285|
|Nov 26-30 2018||457||519||246||287|
|Dec 24-28 2018||457||568||266||303|
|Jan 21-25 2019||467||584||270||313|
|Feb 18-22 2019||470||596||271||317|
|Mar 18-22 2019||470||597||270||318|
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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