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DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
Russ Quinn 4/14 4:38 PM

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices continued to move higher the first week of April 2021, albeit at a slower pace than in recent weeks, according to sellers surveyed by DTN. For the second week in a row, several fertilizers saw only a slight push higher.

While all eight of the major fertilizers were higher in price, only three fertilizers' prices continue to be significantly higher, which DTN designates as 5% or more.

Anhydrous and UAN28 are both 11% higher compared to last month. Anhydrous had an average price of $692 per ton while UAN28 is $341/ton.

Also considerably higher is UAN32, which was up 10% from the prior month. The liquid nitrogen's average price was $378/ton.

The remaining five fertilizers were higher once again but had price increases of 4% or less.

DAP had an average price of $618/ton, MAP $699/ton, potash $431/ton, urea $504/ton and 10-34-0 $605/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.55/lb.N, anhydrous $0.42/lb.N, UAN28 $0.61/lb.N and UAN32 $0.59/lb.N.

The rising retail fertilizer price environment has farmers wanting to be as efficient as possible when applying nutrients. A recent Penn State University (PSU) Extension article titled "Rising Fertilizer Prices Highlight Value of Soil Testing and Manure Nutrients" explores a couple ways to limit the impact of skyrocketing fertilizer prices.

Author Charles White, PSU assistant professor of soil fertility and nutrient management, wrote that soil testing is the traditional method of determining the availability of nutrient levels in relation to crop requirements. Soil tests are calibrated through field experimentation to determine at what level there are sufficient nutrients already in the soil to be able to meet the needs of a crop without additional fertilizer.

"This soil test level is called the 'critical level' and in the Penn State soil test interpretation categories (below optimum, optimum, above optimum), the critical level is at the bottom of the optimum range," White wrote.

The thought is to build soil test levels into the optimum range and maintain levels at this range by applying nutrients to match crop removal rates, he wrote. While this provides good economic returns in the long run, farmers can consider reducing fertilizer application rates for short periods of time due to cost or lack of availability if one follows the building components thanks to this buffer.

While you can't reduce fertilizer application rates forever, as soil test levels will fall below the critical level and yields will suffer, you can weather temporary price spikes and supply shortages if the soil test levels are in the optimum zone to begin with, he wrote.

To read the entire PSU article, click on the following link: https://extension.psu.edu/….

With retail fertilizer prices moving higher over recent months, all fertilizers are now higher in price from a year ago.

Potash is now 17% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 29% higher, urea is 32% more expensive, UAN32 36% higher, anhydrous is 41% more expensive, UAN28 is 45% higher, DAP is 51% more expensive and MAP 61% is 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 6-10 2020 409 434 370 382
May 4-8 2020 413 433 370 388
Jun 1-5 2020 407 431 364 373
Jun 29-Jul 3 2020 406 427 361 357
Jul 27-31 2020 410 429 358 355
Aug 24-28 2020 430 435 352 355
Sep 21-25 2020 434 453 338 361
Oct 19-23 2020 446 476 332 359
Nov 16-20 2020 455 488 336 358
Dec 14-18 2020 466 522 360 361
Jan 11-15 2021 486 551 373 373
Feb 8-12 2021 588 642 398 453
Mar 8-12 2021 615 690 423 483
Apr 5-9 2021 618 699 431 504
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Apr 6-10 2020 468 492 235 278
May 4-8 2020 468 492 237 280
Jun 1-5 2020 468 475 236 276
Jun 29-Jul 3 2020 468 461 233 272
Jul 27-31 2020 465 454 223 262
Aug 24-28 2020 464 442 219 258
Sep 21-25 2020 457 425 215 253
Oct 19-23 2020 456 424 209 249
Nov 16-20 2020 455 422 207 249
Dec 14-18 2020 463 450 210 253
Jan 11-15 2021 469 474 210 247
Feb 8-12 2021 512 524 243 285
Mar 8-12 2021 581 625 306 344
Apr 5-9 2021 605 692 341 378

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

 
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