DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Retail Fertilizer Prices Continue to Climb Higher

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
Connect with Russ:
Anhydrous is above the $500-per-ton level for the first time since the second week of June 2017. The average retail price of anhydrous was $503 per ton the second week of March 2018, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continued their recent upward trend, moving higher again the second week of March 2018, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. Prices for all eight of the major fertilizers were higher compared to last month.

As has been the case in the past couple of weeks, the price of only one fertilizer was up a significant amount. UAN32 was 7% more expensive compared to a month earlier. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $282 per ton.

The remaining seven fertilizers were all higher compared to the prior month, but none were up a significant amount. DAP had an average price of $466 per ton, MAP $503/ton, potash $350/ton, urea $368/ton, 10-34-0 $421/ton, anhydrous $503/ton and UAN28 $237/ton.

Anhydrous is above the $500-per-ton level for the first time since the second week of June 2017. That week, the price was right at $500 per ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.40/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

Newly released research shows farmers who farm in the western Lake Erie area of northwestern Ohio are following the guidelines for fertilizer rate and application practices, according to an Ohio State University (OSU) newsletter. This comes after algae-infested water, thought to be caused by fertilizer runoff, contaminated Toledo's water supply in 2014.

However, the report points out that more steps need to be completed to limit agricultural runoff from farm fields into the rivers that feed into Lake Erie.

The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) published its findings in a special issue of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, the OSU report stated. The research shows that up to 80% of farmers in the region are following the most up-to-date guidelines for fertilizer application.

P[L1] D[0x0] M[300x250] OOP[F] ADUNIT[] T[]

While this may be the case, the study also concludes that the recommendations need to be re-examined to better protect the western part of Lake Erie from pollution from agricultural runoff.

"But even though the vast majority of growers are applying nutrients at or below recommended the levels, the reality is that roughly 70% of the phosphorous entering Lake Erie is from streams and rivers, where agriculture is often the dominant land use," said Doug Smith, USDA soil scientist, who co-authored the article in the Journal detailing the research.

"So we have to acknowledge that the agronomic data and information on which farmers are basing their fertilizer application decisions may not be giving enough consideration to the importance of minimizing nutrient runoff into western Lake Erie."

Smith said many farmers in the region still follow fertilizer recommendations developed 40 years ago or more. Many changes in tillage methods, crop varieties and nutrient formulations have happened during this time.

The science that drives fertilization practices needs to catch up, Smith said.

The entire OSU report can be found at: http://bit.ly/….

Five fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices pushing higher in recent months. UAN32 is now 1% more expensive, urea is 2% higher, potash is 4% higher, DAP is 5% more expensive and MAP is 9% higher than last year.

The remaining three fertilizers are lower in price compared to a year prior. Anhydrous is 1% less expensive while UAN28 is 4% lower and 10-34-0 is 5% lower looking back a 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.

DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Mar 13-17 2017 443 462 337 360
Apr 10-13 2017 437 466 338 353
May 8-12 2017 437 466 340 351
Jun 5-9 2017 438 469 339 338
Jul 3-7 2017 436 467 339 325
Jul 31-Aug 4 2017 434 463 339 311
Aug 28-Sept 1 2017 433 457 338 303
Sep 15-29 2017 432 453 348 321
Oct 23-27 2017 431 453 347 325
Nov 20-24 2017 435 460 342 338
Dec 18-22 2017 445 485 344 348
Jan 15-19 2018 456 491 345 355
Feb 12-16 2018 457 495 345 357
Mar 12-16 2018 466 503 350 368
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Mar 13-17 2017 441 507 247 280
Apr 10-13 2017 441 505 247 280
May 8-12 2017 437 508 247 280
Jun 5-9 2017 435 503 246 278
Jul 3-7 2017 432 462 236 268
Jul 31-Aug 4 2017 426 418 227 262
Aug 28-Sept 1 2017 418 417 215 248
Sep 15-29 2017 413 396 208 243
Oct 23-27 2017 407 393 205 262
Nov 20-24 2017 403 410 216 272
Dec 18-22 2017 405 461 218 254
Jan 15-19 2018 407 485 226 260
Feb 12-16 2018 415 492 230 264
Mar 12-16 2018 421 503 237 282

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(AG/CZ)

P[L2] D[728x90] M[320x50] OOP[F] ADUNIT[] T[]
P[B1] D[0x0] M[320x50] OOP[T] ADUNIT[] T[]
P[R1] D[300x250] M[300x250] OOP[F] ADUNIT[] T[]
P[R2] D[300x250] M[320x50] OOP[F] ADUNIT[] T[]
DIM[1x3] LBL[article-box] SEL[] IDX[] TMPL[standalone] T[]
P[R3] D[300x250] M[0x0] OOP[F] ADUNIT[] T[]

Russ Quinn