Fertilizer price having little impact on crop rotations

An ag economist does not expect fluctuating fertilizer prices to have much influence on crop rotation.

Ken Zuckerberg with CoBank says most farmers had their 2023 acres set before recent price declines for N, P, and K.

“Even I know that if you put nitrogen down in the fall, you’re not going to plant soybeans on that particular spot of land. So I think the six month and eight month planning provides and dictates more than the three month drop in (fertilizer) prices.”

He tells Brownfield anhydrous ammonia prices have fallen 24 percent this winter, potash is down 18 percent, and phosphate fertilizers cost 16 percent less than this time a year ago.

Zuckerberg attributes that mostly to a softening natural gas market, but by next winter he says there’s a high probability domestic fertilizer input needs will compete with natural gas or liquid natural gas exports and natural gas for other residential use.

“So I’m concerned about that tension.”

He says ag retailers are increasing pre-payment programs and spreading out fertilizer purchases to maintain retail prices despite swings in wholesale prices.

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