Whether you grow mixed forage stands in the Northeast, corn silage in the Midwest, bermudagrass in the South, or alfalfa in the West, fertilizer is likely a big part of your crop input ledger. Though many commodity prices have been heading down in the past year, one piece of good news has been declining fertilizer prices.
It can be argued as to the reasons why — soft world demand, low fuel prices, a hesitancy on the part of retailers to build inventory — but the fact remains that overall fertilizer prices are at the lowest levels we've seen in several years. In the case of potash . . . it's been a lot of years. This offers the opportunity to lock-in prices for 2016 needs and perhaps "fix" some of those marginally deficient fields of the past. As is always the case, there are regional differences in prices.
Checking several retail fertilizer price reports from this past week, here's what Hay & Forage Grower found.
Anhydrous ammonia: $510 to $585 per ton
Urea: $340 to $380 per ton
Liquid urea ammonium nitrogen (UAN, 28%): $240 to $280 per ton
Monoammonium phosphate (MAP): $490 to $530 per ton
Diammonium phosphate (DAP): $460 to $500 per ton
Potash: $350 to $400 per ton
It looks like nitrogen can easily be purchased for under 50 cents per pound, and perhaps below 40 cents in some cases. Potassium, which back in 2008 cost nearly 75 cents per pound of K2O, is now approaching 30 cents per unit.