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DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
Thursday, September 19, 2019 2:20PM CDT
By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) -- Fertilizer prices continue to erode, but the pace of decline slowed, according to retailers tracked by DTN for the second week of September 2019. It's the fifth consecutive week that the price of all eight fertilizers fell.

One difference, however, is that only one price dropped significantly, which DTN considers a price change of 5% or more.

The price of anhydrous was down 5% from last month's price at $516/ton, a $27 decline.

MAP prices dropped 4%, to $482/ton, a decline of $21/ton.

The remaining six fertilizers were all lower in price than last month, but their moves were fairly slight. DAP had an average price of $486/ton, down $7; potash $385, down $2; urea $407/ton, down $6; 10-34-0 $471/ton, down $4; UAN28 $253/ton, down $5; and UAN32 $289/ton, down $6.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.45/lb.N and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.

With lower retail fertilizer prices now in place, it seems logical to assume farmers would be willing to apply more nutrients. However, several farmers who spoke with DTN said they didn't change their plans when prices went up, and they won't change them now that prices are headed back down.

Joel Grams, who farms near Minden, Nebraska, said he really didn't alter his nutrient application plan much in recent years despite higher fertilizer prices. The south-central Nebraska farmer puts on about half of his nitrogen through the center-pivot irrigation system, so he utilizes more liquid nitrogen than anhydrous.

"We still try to get fertilizer paid for early and hopefully get to take advantage of prices before they go back up, which I'm sure they will," Grams told DTN.

On the other side of the Corn Belt, Mike Cooprider is in no hurry to lock in fertilizer as the 2019 growing season comes to an end. The Howesville, Indiana, farmer said he will be holding off buying fertilizer until after harvest begins.

"I don't think prices will go higher," Cooprider said. "We will pay as we go."

Cooprider plans to work some ground after harvest and apply some manure and fertilizer. Depending on what soil tests say as well as what kind of yields are seen this fall, he will probably put down fertilizer at roughly the rate of what is removed this year, he said.

With prices significantly lower in recent weeks, the price of two fertilizers fell below last year's prices. MAP is now 7% less expensive and DAP is 1% lower from last year at this time.

The remaining six major fertilizers continue to be higher compared to last year. UAN32 is 4% more expensive; 10-34-0 is 5% higher; potash, anhydrous and UAN28 are all 6% more expensive; and urea is 7% 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
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
May 20-24 2019 497 527 392 428
Jun 17-21 2019 496 532 392 435
Jul 15-19, 2019 497 532 392 430
Aug 12-16 2019 493 503 387 413
Sep 9-13 2019 486 482 385 407
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
May 20-24 2019 487 595 270 314
Jun 17-21 2019 487 589 270 318
Jul 15-19, 2019 485 585 275 317
Aug 12-16 2019 475 543 258 295
Sep 9-13 2019 471 516 253 289

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(KD/CZ)

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