OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail prices for the majority of fertilizers were slightly higher the first week of April 2019, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. This brings to an end a string of several weeks when prices for the majority of fertilizers were lower.
Six of the eight major fertilizers were slightly higher compared to last month. Potash had an average price of $386 per ton, urea $405/ton, 10-34-0 $474/ton, anhydrous $599/ton, UAN28 $272/ton and UAN32 $319/ton.
Two fertilizers were slightly lower than they were the prior month. DAP had an average price of $509/ton and MAP $533/ton.
On the cost of N/per pound, urea is at $0.44, anhydrous $0.37, UAN28 $0.49 and UAN32 $0.50.
As Corn Belt farmers return to their fields this spring, among the first tasks they need to complete is applying fertilizer, specifically nitrogen. With so little fertilizer applied last fall because of wet field conditions that delayed harvest and closed the fall application window, much fertilizer will be applied in the coming weeks.
In a recent Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Integrated Crops Management News report titled "Anhydrous Ammonia Application -- Spring 2019," John Sawyer, professor of agronomy and Extension specialist in soil fertility and nutrient management, wrote that farmers should consider four important points as they begin to apply anhydrous in the fairly tight window before corn planting.
The first important consideration is that application procedures are key to avoiding injury to corn seedlings. Deep injection of 6 to 8 inches and a good seal of the injection track are the best ways to avoid ammonia placed in -- or movement into -- the corn root zone, he wrote.
"If you can smell ammonia after an application pass, adjust equipment or wait for better conditions," Sawyer wrote.
The second consideration is adjusting planting plans to help reduce the opportunity for crop injury. There is no magic number of days to wait to avoid injury, but there are precautions farmers can take. This includes such things as not planting over injection tracks, offsetting planter rows 4 to 6 inches using GPS, and reducing the application rate.
The third consideration is that the chance of crop injury increases with higher application rates due to the greater ammonia concentration and a larger retention zone.
If the injection point is 6 to 8 inches in depth, the outer edge of an ammonia retention zone could be 4 inches from the point of injection. With seed planted at a 2-inch depth directly over an ammonia track, the seed would be outside but close to the outer edge of the applied ammonia band. Shallower injections, greater movement upward from the injection point, wider spacing and higher rates are all situations that could lead to greater chance of root/seedling damage.
The fourth and final consideration farmers should remember when applying anhydrous this spring is that nitrogen fertilizer can be applied sidedress.
Sawyer wrote that, as long as the injection track does not cause soil to cover corn rows (not yet emerged or emerged plants), then sidedress application can begin right after planting and until corn is too tall to get application through the field. Consider sidedress application to help widen the window of ammonia application, and this will help lessen short-term product supply issues.
"Be mindful of what is happening at application, especially if soil conditions are not ideal," he wrote.
To read the entire ISU report, click the following link:
All eight major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. MAP is 5% higher, DAP is 6% more expensive, urea is 9% higher, potash is 10% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 12% higher, UAN28 is 14% more expensive, UAN32 is 16% higher and anhydrous is 18% more expensive.
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 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|
|Dec 10-14 2018||505||533||375||407|
|Jan 7-11 2019||508||533||381||407|
|Feb 4-8 2019||511||536||385||408|
|Mar 4-8 2019||510||534||386||403|
|Apr 1-5 2019||509||533||386||405|
|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|
|Dec 10-14 2018||455||552||261||302|
|Jan 7-11 2019||461||573||267||304|
|Feb 4-8 2019||470||596||271||318|
|Mar 4-8 2019||470||596||270||317|
|Apr 1-5 2019||474||599||272||319|
Russ Quinn can be reached at email@example.com
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