OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices were lower the third week of September 2019, marking the sixth consecutive week prices have declined, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.
Prices for all eight of the major fertilizers were lower compared to the previous month, but unlike in recent weeks, none were down a significant amount, which DTN considers 5% or more.
DAP had an average price of $480 per ton, down $11 from last month; MAP $478/ton, down $17; potash $384/ton, down $3; urea $404/ton, down $9; 10-34-0 $471/ton, down $4; anhydrous $509/ton, down $21; UAN28 $254/ton, down $3; and UAN32 $289/ton, down $2.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.43/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.45/lb.N and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.
With retail fertilizer prices declining over the last six weeks, it would be logical to assume farmers would be willing apply more fertilizer. But as we learned last week, many farmers never cut back on fertilizer when prices climbed over the last several years, so they weren't going to change their fertilizer plans much now.
There could some specific situations in which farmers could increase fertilizer application with these lower prices, said Jeremy Olson, an agronomist for Pederson Seed and Service in Hiawatha, Kansas.
Most of his growers will follow grid samples and apply fertilizer based on their yield goals. However, with lower retail fertilizer prices, there could be some opportunity to build fertilizer levels in the soil, he said.
"In low-fertility areas, we will try to catch up and build with the lower MAP prices or also on newly acquired fields with lower phosphorus (P) levels," Olson told DTN.
The same would be true with potash (K) applications, but Olson said he is advocating for all growers to at least spread potash on their soybean field in 2020. Some farmers in the northeastern Kansas region will only spread K on their corn fields.
"We are trying to build soils back up to 220 parts per million (ppm) or 3% to 4% on exchange sites," he said.
As prices have moved lower in recent weeks, two fertilizers are now cheaper than they were a year ago. MAP is now 8% less expensive, and DAP is 3% lower from last year at this time.
The remaining six major fertilizers continue to be higher compared to last year. Anhydrous is 3% more expensive, UAN32 is 4% higher, both urea and 10-34-0 are 5% more expensive, while both potash and UAN28 are 6% 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.
|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 29-May 3 2019||498||528||390||413|
|May 27-31 2019||497||527||392||430|
|Jun 24-28, 2019||495||531||392||429|
|Jul 22-26 2019||495||531||394||430|
|Aug 19-23 2019||491||495||387||413|
|Sep 16-20 2019||480||478||384||404|
|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|
|Apr 29-May 3 2019||487||595||268||315|
|May 27-31 2019||487||590||270||314|
|Jun 24-28, 2019||487||584||269||318|
|Jul 22-26 2019||485||582||272||320|
|Aug 19-23 2019||475||530||257||291|
|Sep 16-20 2019||471||509||254||289|
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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