From the Farm: Nitrogen Fertilizer

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Buy now or later is certainly the quandary for farmers in deciding on nitrogen for next year’s corn crop. The cost of all fertilizers is exploding upward.

“We’re looking at nitrogen fertilizer, we’ve seen anhydrous ammonia price essentially double from last year,” said U of I farm management specialist Gary Schnitkey. “And who knows where they are going from here. But there’s a lot of uncertainty in the energy market and that is impacting the natural gas prices, which are used to make anhydrous ammonia so all those things add uncertainty to natural gas and anhydrous ammonia.

There’s a lot of trade issues, a lot of transportation issues that make not only cost, but even availability a question.

“We’re going to have to wait to see what that looks like next spring, but we are hoping we have all the nitrogen that we need, when we need it either the fall or next spring,” Schnitkey said.

So should people wait to buy it then or should they buy it now?

“That is the question of the hour and there really isn’t anything we can base a good decision on,” Schnitkey said. “Again, we are looking at $850 now for anhydrous ammonia, at this time you would probably say from a risk management perspective to buy some of it now and wait and see what next spring looks like, but we don’t have any way of knowing whether anhydrous ammonia prices are going up or down at this point.”

Midwest Ag This Week, on both Channels 3 and 49, will have more with Gary Schnitkey this weekend.

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