Lower crop prices and a later harvest caused farmers to cut back some on fall fertilizer application last year but supplies are expected to be adequate this spring to meet demand, according to GROWMARK Plant Food Director Joe Dillier.
“Haven’t had a great test of that because of the planting delays we’ve had to date,” said Dillier. “But my guess is that we’re going to be okay on fertilizer supply going through the balance of the spring.”
Dillier says that prices have been volatile but basically steady compared to last year. “Overall, phosphate prices are maybe a little higher than they were a year ago, not much, ammonia is probably in that same category,” said Dillier. “The other products would probably be down a little bit compared to a year ago.”
The fertilizer market is going through a bit of a transition right now, according to Dillier. “It’s anticipated that some time over the course of the next year, there will be some new domestic production come on, probably after this fall,” he said. “So, we’ll have to see how that plays out.”
There is some concern that with last year’s big crop and yields farmers face some risk by cutting back on fertilizer. “Last spring we saw strong application rates and I think farmers saw the benefit of that…they saw great yields,” said Dillier. “That’s the danger if they go shy on their nutrient program that they don’t get the yields that they want.”
Dillier has more information in this interview: Interview with Joe Dillier, GROWMARK