Fertilizer Prices Take a Jump

If you haven’t bought fertilizer this year, anticipate higher prices for all major nutrients. As spring’s fertilizer needs rise so have prices, but not above 2016 levels, says David Widmar, economist at Purdue University and author at Agricultural Economic Insight.

Urea, anhydrous ammonia, DAP and potash are all higher than earlier this year. Here are examples from Widmar showing Illinois data. Note you’ll need to check local areas for exact pricing but could see similar jumps.

  • Urea: current price is $361 per ton, 19% more than fall 2016. Price hikes in urea make it considerably more expensive than anhydrous ammonia. Urea is 1.23 times the price of anhydrous ammonia on a per-unit of nitrogen basis.
  • Anhydrous Ammonia: higher than January’s low it’s now at $522 per ton. This represents an 8% increase in prices since the first week of January.
  • DAP: increased 3% since January to around $400 per ton.
  • Potash: up 12% since August 2016 to more than $300 per ton.
“The urea-anhydrous ammonia price ratio is the highest since September 2014,” Widmar says.

While prices might be higher than earlier this year they’re still lower than past years. Look into local pricing to determine what fertilizer type and mix will best suit the needs of your farm, while managing expenses.  

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