CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — A farmer’s primary concern revolves around availability and price of fertilizer for the 2023 corn and soybean crops.

Fertilizer questions became a bit more clear for many farmers in east central Illinois on Wednesday when United Prairie Co-op General Manager Curt Miller addressed those attending a field day.

“At this time, fertilizer supply seems to be in good shape,” Miller said. “No issues at this point getting fertilizer and crop nutrients for fall, whether that be phosphate, potash or nitrogen. All three seem to be in good supply at this point.”

They are going to be coming up the river sometime soon. Are you filled up yet in your storage area?

We’re close to full. We’re working on it at this point,” Miller responded. “I’d say right we’re 75% full on potash. Maybe by the end of the week, may could possibly be 100% full on potash. And then phosphates, I’d say we’re just under half at this point. And that will increase as this week goes on as well.”

Farmers remember what they paid last. How are things changing either up or down for this fall?

“So from peak values this spring, crop nutrient pricing has slipped some,” Miller said. “Not as much as everybody would like, obviously. They are going to be quite a bit higher than they were last fall, but there has been a reduction in price at this point.”

And is there a reason that somebody should buy it all this fall, or wait and buy some next spring? What is the strategy on purchasing?

“Looking far ahead, it’s always smart for a grower to take bites if they’re going a long ways ahead,” Miller said. “Anything for this fall they are going to need, they need to buy soon, not right this second, and get that taken care of so everybody knows, all of us retailers know what their needs are. The sooner we know their needs, the better we can service them.”

“So looking at that, anything you need for fall, that a grower needs for fall, go ahead and get that taken care of,” Miller continued. “Looking forward to spring, for example, UAN 32% or 28%, whichever a grower picks, if they are looking to do something ahead of time now, I’d just take a small bite, no more than 50%. Make sure they’re looking at the grain markets to cover them on that purchase.”