Fertilizer prices continue to increase

The prices of all major fertilizers have steadily increased over time. Prepaying for fertilizer and on-farm fertilizer storage will help to reduce fertilizer costs.

The November 23, 2011 approximate retail prices for major fertilizers per ton are $625 for Urea, $708 for Diammonium phosphate (DAP), $731 for Monoammonium phosphate (MAP), $645 for Potash, $404 for Urea-Ammonium Nitrate, and $855 for Anhydrous Ammonia. The price trend from February 2010 to October 2011 at four-month intervals is shown in Figure 1. Prices have steadily increased over time with urea increasing by almost $100 per ton since June 2011.

Fertilizer prices ($/Ton)
*Data Source: USDA- IL Dept. of Ag Market News.

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has a useful website to monitor fertilizer prices. This is a bi-monthly publication of the USDA Illinois Department of Agriculture. Monitoring of fertilizer prices should help farmers decide the best time to purchase fertilizer. Prepaying for fertilizer is a desirable practice to avoid future price risks. Having on-farm fertilizer storage capability is another asset that enables famers to purchase fertilizers when prices are most favorable. Storage will expand fertilizer purchase options and reduce costs. For growing corn, cost of fertilizer is the highest cost of production item in the budget.

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