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DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) — The majority of retail fertilizer prices continued their months-long trend of moving lower the first week of February 2020. However, for the first in quite some time, three fertilizers were slightly higher compared to the previous month, according to sellers surveyed by DTN.

Only one fertilizer had a significant price decline from last month: DAP was 5% lower and had an average price of $413 per ton.

Four other fertilizers had a slight price decline from the previous month. MAP had an average price of $435/ton, potash $373/ton, 10-34-0 $464/ton and UAN28 $235/ton.

The remaining three fertilizers had minor price increases compared to last month. Urea had an average price of $361/ton, anhydrous $490/ton and UAN32 $277/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 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.43/lb.N.

The debate over how often to apply phosphorus (P) fertilizer is one crop producers don’t always agree on, with some applying it every year and others applying it every other year. A recent post from the University of Minnesota Extension’s Minnesota Crop News titled, "Phosphorus fertilizer application only needed every other year in corn-soybean rotation" said research in Minnesota shows every other year of application may be just right.

A 10-year study by University of Minnesota Extension researchers that ended in 2018 shows the most efficient way to apply P would be every other year in a corn-soybean rotation. The study showed that applying fertilizers, such as MAP or DAP, in the fall or the spring before planting soybeans does not increase yield.

As long as enough P was applied before the previous corn crop to account for the needs of both the corn and soybean crops, the soybean yield was maximized. For corn, results showed a four-to-five bushel per acre (bpa) average yield advantage when some or all of the P fertilizer was applied in the fall or spring before.

"This means that farmers could save money on application costs by only applying before corn, instead of before both corn and soybean crops," the report stated.

The study had field trials in three different locations across the state. The results of the study can be found at: https://mnsoilfertility.com/…

New research in Minnesota has also shown a spring application of P on high calcium soils in central and western Minnesota may have an advantage. Calcium in soil can bind to the phosphate in the P fertilizer, forming calcium phosphate, which is less available to the crop during early growth.

The results of a study from the 2019 growing season indicated that spring P fertilizer application resulted in an average 7% greater corn yield than the same amount of fertilizer applied in the fall. Soybean yields were also increased by P fertilizer but there was no difference between the fall and spring application.

"The data is intriguing, but since we only conducted research at three corn locations, more data is needed to determine if farmers should consider spring application of P," said Dan Kaiser, University of Minnesota Extension nutrient management specialist and lead researcher on the project.

To read the entire University of Minnesota Extension report, visit: https://blog-crop-news.extension.umn.edu/…

Retail fertilizers are now all lower in price from a year ago. MAP and DAP are both now 19% lower, anhydrous is 18% less expensive, both UAN28 and UAN32 are 13% lower, urea is 12% less expensive, potash is 3% lower and 10-34-0 is 1% less expensive from last year at this time.

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.

Feb 4-8 2019511536385408
Mar 4-8 2019510534386403
Apr 1-5 2019509533386405
Apr 29-May 3 2019498528390413
May 27-31 2019497527392430
Jun 24-28, 2019495531392429
Jul 22-26 2019495531394430
Aug 19-23 2019491495387413
Sep 16-20 2019480478384404
Oct 14-18, 2019465472382402
Nov 11-15 2019457465382388
Dec 9-13 2019445463378380
Jan 6-10 2020435444375358
Feb 3-7 2020413435373361
Date Range10-34-0ANHYDUAN28UAN32
Feb 4-8 2019470596271318
Mar 4-8 2019470596270317
Apr 1-5 2019474599272319
Apr 29-May 3 2019487595268315
May 27-31 2019487590270314
Jun 24-28, 2019487584269318
Jul 22-26 2019485582272320
Aug 19-23 2019475530257291
Sep 16-20 2019471509254289
Oct 14-18, 2019471507253289
Nov 11-15 2019473496246284
Dec 9-13 2019470489241276
Jan 6-10 2020471486237272
Feb 3-7 2020464490235277

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN