OMAHA (DTN) -- Though fertilizer applications have begun to ramp up in some areas of the Corn Belt, average retail prices saw only small moves in either direction the second week of April 2019, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.
Prices for five of the eight major fertilizers were slightly higher than a month ago. Potash had an average price of $387 per ton, urea $404/ton, 10-34-0 $481/ton, UAN28 $271/ton and UAN32 $317/ton.
Average prices for the other three fertilizers were slightly lower. DAP had an average price of $505/ton, MAP $532/ton and anhydrous $592/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 some drier weather, fertilizer application is underway in areas of the Midwest, especially in the Western Corn Belt, after very little fertilizer was applied last fall. There have been some reports of retailers having anhydrous supply issues. But the issue hasn't been widespread enough to affect the price, though regional shortages could create some price spikes.
John Oehlerking, a farmer from near Elmwood, Nebraska, told DTN that farmers in his area of southeastern Nebraska are finally seeing cooperative weather, and "everyone" is trying to beat the rain predicted to fall on Wednesday. He posted a video on Twitter Tuesday of long lines as area farmers attempted to weigh and pull anhydrous tanks to their fields.
"Everyone has been nervously watching the calendar, as our local co-op, Midwest Farmers Coop, has been very proactive and warning of the challenges that we were facing this spring with the logistics of nitrogen application and has been working diligently to minimize any impact that may occur," Oehlerking said.
Some years, soils would dry from south to north. This would allow anhydrous to be put on in smaller areas, and transport trucks would follow the application season northward. To some extent, that didn't happen this spring, as the weather is conducive for application now and everyone is trying to apply fertilizer at the same time, he said.
Oehlerking said his retailer has not run out of anhydrous, but there have been some long lines to get the product.
The predicted rain at midweek could help with replenishing fertilizer supplies, as local retailers will be able to reload their facilities while farmers take a break from fieldwork, Oehlerking said. However, considering the number of acres that still need to be covered this spring, the rush will be back on and the lines will return after the soils dry.
Some farmers may switch acres to UAN or urea, which might help with supply issues, but the logistics and cost difference might keep some from doing this, Oehlerking said. As spring progresses and some farmers finish their fertilizer applications that will free up more supplies. But that is still a little ways off, he said.
"We will make it through this," Oehlerking said.
All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher. MAP is 5% more expensive, DAP is 6% higher, both urea and potash are 10% more expensive, both 10-34-0 and UAN28 are 13% higher and anhydrous and UAN32 are now both 16% more expensive 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.
|Apr 9-13 2018||482||504||353||369|
|May 7-11 2018||483||505||354||366|
|Jun 4-8 2018||484||505||354||364|
|Jul 2-6 2018||485||504||354||366|
|Jul 30- Aug 3 2018||488||505||355||366|
|Aug 27-31 2018||487||513||357||365|
|Sep 24-28 2018||494||520||361||385|
|Oct 22-26 2018||499||518||366||406|
|Nov 19-23 2018||501||530||368||407|
|Dec 17-21 2018||508||532||377||407|
|Jan 14-18 2019||512||534||383||407|
|Feb 11-15 2019||512||537||385||405|
|Mar 11-15 2019||510||534||386||402|
|Apr 8-12 2019||505||532||387||404|
|Apr 9-13 2018||427||510||241||275|
|May 7-11 2018||431||512||241||276|
|Jun 4-8 2018||440||503||241||276|
|Jul 2-6 2018||443||505||242||279|
|Jul 30- Aug 3 2018||443||498||242||279|
|Aug 27-31 2018||446||480||233||271|
|Sep 24-28 2018||449||493||236||278|
|Oct 22-26 2018||457||499||243||284|
|Nov 19-23 2018||457||520||246||287|
|Dec 17-21 2018||457||565||265||304|
|Jan 14-18 2019||462||580||270||305|
|Feb 11-15 2019||470||596||271||318|
|Mar 11-15 2019||469||596||269||318|
|Apr 8-12 2019||481||592||271||317|
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN
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