DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Most Fertilizer Prices Move Lower

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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DAP had an average price of $497 per ton the fourth week of April 2019, the first time since the fourth week of October 2018 that DAP has fallen below the $500-per-ton level. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail prices for most fertilizers were lower the fourth week of April 2019, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. This marks the first time in this most recent trend that the majority of fertilizer prices were lower compared to the previous month.

Prices for five of the eight major fertilizers were slightly lower compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $497 per ton, MAP $530/ton, anhydrous $594/ton, UAN28 $268/ton and UAN32 $315/ton.

One interesting point to note is DAP broke below the $500-per-ton level for the first time since the fourth week of October 2018. That week, the average price was $499 per ton.

The remaining three fertilizers were slightly higher compared to the prior month. Potash had an average price of $388/ton, urea $408/ton and 10-34-0 $483/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 $0.49/lb.N.

With the wet conditions seen last fall and continuing into this spring, some farmers are in the challenging situation of deciding between planting corn or trying to apply nitrogen before planting.

In a blog entry titled "Planting or nitrogen application: With a wet spring, which one comes first?," University of Minnesota Extension graduate student Jared Spackman and Extension specialist Fabian Fernandez write that farmers' best bet is to plant corn to optimize yield potential and come back later to apply nitrogen.

There are a couple of different reasons for this recommendation. For starters, Minnesota receives about a third of its annual precipitation in the months of April through June. Early applications of nitrogen may be subject to significant losses, especially if it converts to the nitrate form.

In addition, corn requirements for nitrogen are fairly low right after planting. Only about 10% of the total nitrogen is taken up by mid-June.

"Research has shown that corn following soybeans has low nitrogen needs early in the season, allowing for later fertilizer applications," the authors wrote.

It has been found that the best time to apply the rest of the nitrogen (after some is applied at planting) is by the V8 development stage at the latest, according to the report. Some research has suggested that sidedress can be delayed until tasseling since corn has only taken up 50% of the total nitrogen by this point.

Minnesota research, however, does not support this practice.

"We have also observed that applications delayed until mid-July run the risk of low yields because of inadequate precipitation to incorporate fertilizer into the root zone," the report said.

To read the entire Minnesota Extension blog entry, click on the following link: https://blog-crop-news.extension.umn.edu/….

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher. MAP is 3% more expensive, DAP is 5% higher, potash is 10% more expensive, urea is 11% higher, both 10-34-0 and UAN28 are 12% higher, UAN32 is 14% more expensive and anhydrous is 17% 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.

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Apr 23-27 2018 485 504 353 367
May 21-25 2018 483 504 354 364
Jun 18-22 2018 485 505 354 364
Jul 16-20 2018 486 505 354 366
Aug 13-17 2018 487 508 356 363
Sep 10-14 2018 491 518 362 380
Oct 8-12 2018 501 523 365 393
Nov 5-9 2018 506 529 368 407
Dec 3-7 2018 501 529 369 410
Dec 31-Jan 4 2019 508 533 381 407
Jan 28-Feb 1 2019 513 536 384 407
Feb 25-Mar 01 2019 511 535 386 404
Mar 25-29 2019 509 534 385 401
Apr 22-26 2019 497 530 388 408
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Apr 23-27 2018 431 507 241 277
May 21-25 2018 439 504 241 276
Jun 18-22 2018 440 503 242 277
Jul 16-20 2018 442 503 243 279
Aug 13-17 2018 446 481 233 271
Sep 10-14 2018 449 487 238 278
Oct 8-12 2018 452 488 238 280
Nov 5-9 2018 458 517 245 287
Dec 3-7 2018 457 524 249 293
Dec 31-Jan 4 2019 460 571 267 304
Jan 28-Feb 1 2019 468 585 271 313
Feb 25-Mar 01 2019 470 596 270 318
Mar 25-29 2019 470 597 269 318
Apr 22-26 2019 483 594 268 315

Russ Quinn can be reached at russ.quinn@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(AG/SK)

Russ Quinn