We’ve been hearing a lot lately about fertilizer shortages and price spikes. There is much speculation about what the situation will look like closer to spring planting season.
In fact, recently Josh Linville, StoneX Group Director of Fertilizer, told the Red River Farm Network that anhydrous prices increased 40 percent in one week and are up 163 percent from one year ago, as China, one of the world’s major producers, has ceased nitrogen exports until next summer. Export caps also have been placed on nitrogen coming from Russia and Egypt.
For the week of Nov. 8, the average retail price of anhydrous set a record at $1,113 per ton, according to DTN. The average price of UAN28 currently stands around $545 a ton and UAN32 is $604 a ton. Urea has increased to $820 a ton, which potash is $750 a ton and DAP is $814 a ton. All are sizeable increases from even the month-earlier period.
A Reuters report attributed the looming shortage of nitrogen fertilizer due to increasing natural gas prices, prompting producers to scale back production.
So what does all of this mean for your farming operation?
Daniel Hensley, Vice President of Agronomy and Sales for Concept AgriTek said now is the time to purchase, to avoid paying further high prices and ensure you have the fertilizer you need for the upcoming growing season.
“The sky’s the limit as far as how high these prices are going to go at this point,” Hensley said. “Dry fertilizer prices are going drastically. A year ago we were paying 23 cents a unit for nitrogen and today farmers are having to pay over a dollar a unit. Phos acid is extremely high and anything in agriculture related to phosphorous revolves around phos acid.”
He recommends farmers order their 2022 supplies now to avoid paying more and ensure they will have what they need on hand come spring. That’s where Concept AgriTek can help. By prepaying for products in November and December, customers can qualify for the lowest prices of the season.
“The savings will help you offset those rising input costs,” Hensley said.
Devising a game plan now is key
Once the growing season arrives, farmers looking to keep their bottom line in check will want to think differently about how fertilizer is applied.
“Being efficient with fertilizer is going to be key to managing input costs,” Hensley said. “The days of just spreading it and forgetting it need to be gone. We need to be timely and efficient.”
And what some farmers might not realize is that using certain Concept AgriTek biological products, such as Buncha Bugs DF or Biovate XP, are like withdrawing money from a forgotten savings account.
“We can use those biologicals to help free up some of that fertilizer that has been tied up in the soil,” Hensley said. “Farmers have been spending a ton of money putting fertilizer out there, and now it’s time to utilize some of it by freeing it up with bacteria.”
Concept AgriTek also has an alternative for farmers who historically have relied on potash fertilizer.
Foliar-K has a lower salt level for less crop injury, it increases drought tolerance by providing the plant with proper potassium levels and helps protein synthesis by increasing the plant’s ability to convert nitrogen to protein.
“Foliar-K is potassium acetate,” Hensley said. “It’s a foliar, and it’s probably not going to change your soil, as far as your soil test goes, but we absolutely can help you substitute dry products with Foliar-K and save you some money on your dry potash and not suffer yield loss.”
Concept AgriTek also offers an alternative to DAP: Total-Phos Plus is a liquid, low-salt, high phosphorus starter fertilizer with our Bio-Tek technology added that encourages seedlings to develop more rapidly increases water use efficiency and promotes early plant formation and growth at a cost far less than DAP.
To find out how to manage your input costs and increase your return on investment, reach out to your Concept AgriTek sales representative or visit www.conceptagritek.com.