Fertilizer Prices Leveling Out After Overseas Disruptions but Transportation Raises Concerns

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After being faced with high fertilizer prices over the past few years, farmers continue to ask where prices are heading. Kevin Johnson, President of the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, looks at where he sees prices as we head into 2024.

“This summer, I think we found the floor of where anhydrous is at. It has ticked back up a little bit, but we are more in that $700 to $800 range- rather than $1,600 range. And I think we had a good fall application. A lot of guys got on fertilizer when they wanted it, dry and ammonia,” says Johnson. “I think, going into the spring, we are in pretty good shape. People ask, ‘what do you think is going on with prices?’ I think we are in pretty much a back-and-forth- unless we see something globally with Putin and Ukraine because everything with nitrogen starts with natural gas. Russia is a very large supplier of natural gas. If we see any kind of disruptions there, we might see a different price. But I think we are kind of where we are going to be going into spring of ’24.”

Looking ahead at the spring fertilizer applications, Johnson says farmers in Illinois are in a good position. Last fall, conditions allowed farmers to apply dry fertilizer on their fields without much disruption. Looking to spring of 2024, Johnson says this could change if there are any transportation disturbances, especially on the river.

“Two-thirds of the potash that moves comes to Illinois by rail, so that does not affect as much,” says Johnson. “But your [Di-ammonium phosphate] DAPs, your [Monoammonium phosphate] MAPs, and your triple superphosphates- two-thirds of those come up through river. If there are any river issues, that’s the first line of things that you’re going to see price differences on.”

For more information, visit the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association’s website at ifca.com

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