Fertilizer prices hit decade low as 2020 planting begins

Fertilizer prices are the lowest they have been in a decade and an ag economist says that is a plus for farmers’ crop budgets this year.

David Widmar with Ag Economic Insights says fertilizer prices for all nitrogen sources are down 10-18% from this time last year according to the USDA. He highlights an example rate of 180 unites of nitrogen, 70 units of phosphorus and 70 units of potassium.

“So, for 2020 that fertilizer rate cost producers about $95 an acre. This is a $20 per acre savings over 2019 prices.”

He says as producers expect to plant 97 million acre of corn this year and that makes crop budgets look much different than the last time that much corn was planted.

“In 2011, 2012, 2013 that same fertilizer blend would have cost almost $160 per acre.”

He says the drop in fertilizer prices reflects lower energy prices, higher fertilizer production capacity and decreased use of fertilizer in 2019.

He says another sign of improvement for producers’ crops budgets is the 75-cent decline in diesel prices from the beginning of the year.

Interview with David Widmar

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