2017 Fertilizer Prices Turn Higher – Still Lower than 2016

2017 fertilizer prices. ag economic insights. ag trends.

by David A. Widmar

Lower fertilizer prices have been an important source of crop budget improvements in recent years. From 2014 to 2016, a majority of corn production costs reductions came from lower fertilizer expense. Last fall, we noted that fertilizer prices were again lower and could provide additional relief to crop budgets in 2017. Recently, however, fertilizer prices have turned higher. This week’s post looks at 2017 fertilizer prices and the farm-level implications. Continue reading

Will Farmers Benefit from Lower Fertilizer Prices Again in 2017?


by David A. Widmar

Lower fertilizer prices have been a welcome relief for producers facing falling commodity prices and farm incomes. Fertilizer prices offered big cost relief in 2016 and were the largest source of total cost reductions. These fertilizer price reductions came even with strong quantities of fertilizer demanded from a large corn crop; U.S. corn acreage was up 7% from 2015 and was the third highest acreage since 1944. Given lower fertilizer prices but strong usage from increased corn acres, this week’s post takes a look the prospects of even lower fertilizer prices again in 2017. Continue reading

Fertilizer Prices and the Long Run


by David A Widmar

As farmers sharpen their pencils to finalize plans for the 2015 crop year, they are likely find compressed profit margins.  Lower commodity prices are being met by little – if any – relief from input prices. The 2015 Purdue crop budgets estimated variable costs at $458 per acre for raising corn in high productivity soils; up from $450 in 2014. Meanwhile, the budgets estimate revenues at $693 per acre, or 26% lower than 2014.

Given the prominent role that fertilizer plays in the budget it is usually one place that people start to look for savings. This is especially the case for corn. The Purdue crop budgets estimate that fertilizer will represent more than 33% of the total variable costs in 2015. While fertilizer prices have held strong this year, in this post we wanted to provide a long-run perspective on fertilizer prices and shed light into what the future may hold.

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