DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Little Price Movement in Fertilizer Prices Again

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.38/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.44/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices continued to stay fairly stable the third week of May 2017, with no prices significantly higher or lower compared to last month, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.

Of the eight major fertilizers, prices for five are slightly higher compared to a month earlier. These are MAP, potash, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32.

MAP had an average price of $471 per ton, potash $340/ton, anhydrous $510/ton, UAN28 $248/ton and UAN32 $283/ton.

The remaining three fertilizers were slightly lower in price from last month but, again, none were down substantially. DAP had an average price of $437/ton, urea $350/ton and 10-34-0 $510/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.38/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.44/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

This time of year, most of the corn is already planted, and some farmers are preparing to apply some form of nitrogen with a sidedressing operation. The increasing popularity of this application method has led to more nitrogen demand being pushed back into June in recent years. This, in turn, has led to retail prices generally staying higher into June.

Interesting new data shows why more farmers are willing to sidedress nitrogen to young corn plants.

In a posting titled "Pre-plant Versus In-Season Corn Nitrogen Strategies," Michigan State University (MSU) Extension's Kurt Steinke and Jeff Rutan wrote about new research on grain yield response to several nitrogen management programs. These programs included multiple placements and timing applied at a consistent nitrogen rate.

MSU researchers, with the help of the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan, studied three application strategies: one with broadcast pre-plant incorporated nitrogen and a sidedressing operation at V10; another with starter nitrogen in-furrow with sidedressing nitrogen at V4, V10 or a 50/50 split at V4 and V10; and a third with starter nitrogen banded as 2-by-2 with sidedress nitrogen at V4, V10 or a 50/50 split at V4 and V10.

What they found was yield increases with sidedress nitrogen application are often dependent upon seasonal weather patterns.

"When spring rainfall was at or below normal, in-furrow application with no sidedressing until V10 reduced grain yield up to 22 bushels an acre as compared to a V4 SD timing," Steinke and Rutan wrote.

In a wet growing season, yield potential was maintained by not delaying sidedressing until V10 using either the in-furrow or 2-by-2 strategy.

The authors point out that one implication from this study was the importance of a nitrogen management strategy to sufficiently supply nitrogen until sidedressing application time. Corn yield expression is influenced early in the growing season, and the success of the in-season nitrogen application may be influenced by the pre- or at-plant nitrogen strategy.

"With the exception of a single site year, no significant positive yield responses were observed when delaying sidedressing until V10 during the three-year study," the report stated.

To read the entire MSU Extension report, go to http://msue.anr.msu.edu/…

Retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. Three of the eight major fertilizers are still double digits lower.

10-34-0 is 22% lower from a year ago, anhydrous is 13% less expensive and UAN32 is 12% lower. Both UAN28 and urea are 9% less expensive, DAP is 8% lower, potash is 7% less expensive and MAP are 6% lower compared to year earlier.

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):

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
May 16-20 2016 476 501 365 384
June 13-17 2016 469 496 359 367
July 11-15 2016 467 496 358 360
Aug 8-12 2016 453 482 344 345
Sept 5-9 2016 446 464 325 325
Oct 3-7 2016 438 451 312 315
Oct 31-Nov 4 2016 436 451 314 319
Nov 28-Dec 2 2016 435 445 318 331
Dec 26-30 2016 431 443 321 336
Jan 23-27 2017 429 443 322 347
Feb 20-24 2017 433 452 332 359
Mar 20-24 2017 438 464 338 356
Apr 17-21 2017 438 466 339 352
May 15-19 2017 437 471 340 350
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
May 16-20 2016 558 588 274 321
June 13-17 2016 555 566 266 305
July 11-15 2016 538 547 266 306
Aug 8-12 2016 528 522 249 299
Sept 5-9 2016 478 502 228 274
Oct 3-7 2016 454 472 224 263
Oct 31-Nov 4 2016 452 471 244 262
Nov 28-Dec 2 2016 447 465 217 256
Dec 26-30 2016 437 466 217 254
Jan 23-27 2017 436 480 235 268
Feb 20-24 2017 440 490 241 276
Mar 20-24 2017 441 507 248 280
Apr 17-21 2017 437 509 247 280
May 15-19 2017 436 510 248 283

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

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Russ Quinn