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Ag News Details

DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) -- With a couple of exceptions, retail prices for most fertilizers continued to rise the fourth week of November 2018, according to fertilizer sellers surveyed by DTN.

Six of the eight major fertilizers were slightly higher, but none had a significant price move compared to last month. MAP had an average price of $530 per ton, potash $369/ton, urea $409/ton, anhydrous $519/ton, UAN28 $246/ton and UAN32 $287/ton.

Two fertilizers were slightly lower from the previous month. DAP had an average price of $501/ton and 10-34-0 $457/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.32/lb.N, UAN28 $0.44/lb.N and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.

A good part of the Corn Belt has seen winter-like conditions during fall 2018 as the calendar moved from November to December. Cold temperatures and frozen soils can present problems for the application of fertilizer.

In a blog post titled "Fall Fertilizer Outlook Application Outlook," Dan Kaiser, soil fertility specialist at the University of Minnesota, addresses the topic of applying fertilizer in winter-like weather. Kaiser wrote that all commercial fertilizer is water-soluble; however, there are variations in how long it takes for the material to fully dissolve.

"Any material that has not had some reaction with the soil may be susceptible to loss should water move across the field," Kaiser wrote. "Late fall fertilizer applications brings water quality concerns surrounding the loss of nitrogen and phosphorus."

Potential loss of urea can occur until hydrolysis converts urea to ammonium, which can be held by charges on soil. Urea is a neutral molecule and will readily move with water, he wrote.

Phosphorus loss can happen when fertilizer is applied to the soil surface and not incorporated. Research in Iowa has shown that a 10-day delay between application and rainfall is enough time to substantially reduce potential for phosphorus loss, according to Kaiser.

Kaiser said the simple fact is that the more time farmers can give phosphorus to react with the soil prior to a freeze, the less risk of loss.

"Tillage may not be an option at this point, and delaying application into the spring is highly suggested to prevent loss of fertilizer," he wrote. "Loss of N or P not only has environmental consequences but also is a waste of money."

To read the entire report, click on this link:…

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher in recent months. UAN32 is 6% higher, potash is 8% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 13% higher, UAN28 is 14% more expensive, both DAP and MAP are 15% higher, urea is 20% more expensive and anhydrous is now 24% more expensive 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.

Nov 27-Dec 1 2017 435 460 342 340
Dec 25-29 2017 448 488 344 348
Jan 22-26 2018 458 492 344 353
Feb 19-23 2018 460 496 345 357
Mar 19-23 2018 469 504 349 368
Apr 16-20 2018 484 502 353 368
May 14-18 2018 483 505 354 368
Jun 11-15 2018 484 505 354 364
Jul 9-13 2018 485 504 354 366
Aug 6-10 2018 487 507 356 363
Sep 3-7 2018 488 514 358 366
Oct 1-5 2018 501 523 364 389
Oct 29-Nov 2 2018 506 528 366 408
Nov 26-30 2018 501 530 369 409
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Nov 27-Dec 1 2017 403 417 216 271
Dec 25-29 2017 407 468 216 254
Jan 22-26 2018 415 490 226 261
Feb 19-23 2018 416 495 231 265
Mar 19-23 2018 422 503 236 269
Apr 16-20 2018 431 508 240 275
May 14-18 2018 439 510 241 276
Jun 11-15 2018 440 503 241 277
Jul 9-13 2018 443 505 242 279
Aug 6-10 2018 445 482 233 271
Sep 3-7 2018 446 480 232 271
Oct 1-5 2018 451 488 237 279
Oct 29-Nov 2 2018 457 505 245 285
Nov 26-30 2018 457 519 246 287

Russ Quinn can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN


Market Commentary

Good evening, Jan beans finished down 7 cents, March corn down 1.5, and March wheat down 6 cents. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer went on cable news over the weekend making clear that March 1st was a “hard deadline” for the US – China trade talks. Concerns over the timeline and the ability to get something done before then were weighing on markets today. Market direction is going to follow the outcomes of these talks. The arrest of Meng Wanzhou (CFO of Huawei) is still weighing on the talks. China is protesting the arrest to the US ambassador in China saying it will take an unspecified “further action”. Anything threatening a trade resolution is weighing on ag market. The news regarding the Wanzhou bail hearing are likely going to add to the weakness we saw today. Market is still chasing headlines.
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