Fertilizer has been a hot topic for nearly a year. Last fall it all started as grain prices soared putting pressure on an already stressed supply chain. On top of that, last fall, an import duty was placed on phosphate products from multiple countries causing the domestic price of all phosphate-based products to skyrocket seemingly overnight. Next comes spring with the largest amount of optimism we have had in agriculture in several years. With optimism comes increased utilization of fertilizers, simple economics tell us that increased demand equates to increased prices. All these outside pressures affected prices for products bought in season this crop year. However, fortunately putting on fall fertilizer and prepaying early for spring products paid off massively this year. The last pressure on the market that really needs to be discussed is the potential duties on nitrogen.
Much like the duties we saw put on phosphates last fall (finalized last winter) there may be some duties on UAN from Russia and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The claim is that product from Russia and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago have hurt the US market by “dumping” product into the market to force prices down. These claims will go through a series of court hearings to see if there is validity to the claims. Weather or not these claims hold up in court, the uncertainty is being priced into the market. This claim is on UAN but that ultimately affects all nitrogen sources (UAN, Urea, Anhydrous ammonia). If you have more questions on these petitions filed, please reach out to your CHS agronomist.
With all the above pressures still impacting the fertilizer market today, locking in your fertilizer input needs early again and putting as much as possible down in the fall is looking to be the best option. Quite frankly there is some serious sticker shock when you are looking at fertilizer prices for this fall and coming spring compared to what you paid last fall and winter. This should not come as a surprise with the gain in the grain markets as well. I encourage you to sit down with your agronomists and do the math on the bushels of crop needed to cover the fertilizer bill for your crops individually. Even with the increase in prices, in most cases the actual bushels needed to pay for the fertilizer is similar to last year.
Overall, the fertilizer market is incredibly strong, much like the rain markets. Again, I encourage you to sit down and make a plan with your agronomist to get as much as possible out this fall as spring prices are likely going to be significantly higher than fall for P and K. Also, take a few minutes and read the article (linked below) about Levesol products and specifically Trivar for broadcast applications. With the investment you will be making on your farm for fertilizer, specifically phosphorus lets make sure it is protected and able to be utilized by the next crop. We have seen some incredible yield advantages with these products in both high and low yield environments. Talk to your agronomist to find out more on which of the Levesol products would work best for your operation.
Thank you for your continued support and business!
Written by Jordan Thiel, Agronomy Sales Manager