Shift From Corn to Spring Wheat Could Mean Less Demand02/16/2018
Most average retailer fertilizer prices continued their upward trend the first week of February 2018, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.
All but one of the eight major fertilizers were higher compared to a month earlier. No fertilizer was up a noteworthy amount.
DAP had an average price of $458 per ton, MAP $493/ton, urea $355/ton, 10-34-0 $415/ton, anhydrous $492/ton, UAN28 $227/ton and UAN32 $261/ton.
One fertilizer was actually slightly lower for the third week in a row compared to the previous month. Potash had an average price of $344 per ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.41/lb.N and UAN32 $0.41/lb.N.
One area of the country that might see less fertilizer demand due to a shift of some acres away from corn to spring wheat is the Northern Plains. Because of higher spring wheat prices and this crop needing less fertilizer, some farmers in the region might consider planting more spring wheat.
One such farmer is Aaron Frerichs, who farms with his brother Jason near Wilmot, South Dakota. While final planting plans could change, depending on what the futures market is telling farmers to plant, Frerichs said corn acres on his northeastern South Dakota farm could be down anywhere from 5% to 10%, as they have decided to plant more acres of spring wheat.
“For our farm, spring wheat works better than corn, as our fields have a majority of lighter soils,” Frerichs told DTN.
“The last two years, we’ve been blessed with late-July and August rains, and so that has made a huge difference on making an excellent corn crop on any lighter soils. So we are hoping to reduce some risk by planting spring wheat on those fields.”
Frerichs said they pre-purchased all their fertilizer needs back in September 2017 for the rapidly approaching 2018 growing season. Higher fertilizer prices would not be conducive for increasing corn acres in their region, he said.
Prices for all but three fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices pushing higher in recent months. Both urea and anhydrous are now 1% more expensive, potash is 4% higher, DAP is 6% more expensive and MAP is 10% higher than last year.
Three fertilizers are still lower in price compared to a year prior. UAN32 is 4% lower as is UAN28, and 10-34-0 is 6% less expensive 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):
|Feb 6-10 2017||431||448||330||354|
|Mar 03-10 2017||436||460||336||361|
|Apr 3-7 2017||438||466||338||354|
|May 1-5 2017||436||466||339||351|
|May 29-Jun 2 2017||436||471||340||339|
|Jun 26-30 2017||437||470||340||333|
|Jul 24-28 2017||434||462||338||308|
|Aug 21-25 2017||434||458||338||304|
|Sep 18-22 2017||429||452||345||312|
|Oct 16-20 2017||432||452||348||340|
|Nov 13-17 2017||435||459||342||339|
|Dec 11-15 2017||439||479||343||340|
|Jan 8-12 2018||456||491||346||352|
|Feb 5-9 2018||458||493||344||355|
|Feb 6-10 2017||440||485||238||273|
|Mar 03-10 2017||441||503||246||279|
|Apr 3-7 2017||441||505||248||280|
|May 1-5 2017||436||508||247||280|
|May 29-Jun 2 2017||436||503||248||280|
|Jun 26-30 2017||435||484||238||268|
|Jul 24-28 2017||425||423||229||265|
|Aug 21-25 2017||419||417||216||248|
|Sep 18-22 2017||416||402||211||248|
|Oct 16-20 2017||413||397||205||262|
|Nov 13-17 2017||403||410||216||272|
|Dec 11-15 2017||403||434||218||256|
|Jan 8-12 2018||410||479||220||258|
|Feb 5-9 2018||415||492||227||261|
Source: Russ Quinn, DTN