From the Farm: Fertilizer prices

Morning Show Features

LEROY, Ill. (WCIA) — If farmers did not get their fertilizer spread last fall, they are finding the price has increased substantially for spring application.

Phosphate fertilizer prices have skyrocketed, said Bob Spratt of LeRoy Fertilizer, who offered several reasons.

“There are a couple factors with those markets, the first one is that we drained the system last fall. Fall applications were huge, so supply is down. And the other big factor is the duties that were imposed on imports. So there are just no imports coming from Morocco, or Russia, or China into the US. The US is kind of on its own right now in the phosphate market,” said Spratt. “The majority of our phosphate will come from Florida. They just mine them outside of Tampa, load them on a barge and ship them up the Mississippi River. With no imports there is just no competition. So it’s a pretty limited market right now, and the big driver was we just drove the supply down to almost zero.”

But there were transportation issues. “And the other factor, too, was the Illinois River was shut down until October 20th or something like that on the upper river and that played into it. It really was touch and go there until the end, particularly on phosphates,” said Spratt.

Farmers will have to write a bigger check for spring fertilizer. “Easily phosphate prices are probably $150 over, a ton, over what they were in the fall. If not $200 on the retail level. Easily they need to contact their supplier and get things locked in,” Spratt stated.

The other thing on the fertilizer market that people don’t realize is that ‘19 and ‘20 really were historical lows in the market place. Really ’20 was historical low. And really right now the market has come back up and really about where it was in ’16, ’17, and ’18,; even on the wholesale side

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