If you haven’t yet locked in a price on fertilizer, decision time is looming. Prices remain elevated due to global conditions.
Supply concerns were the major culprit for high prices last year, but many say the fertilizer industry cried wolf, with the situation not nearly as bad as what was initially feared.
“I don’t want to do that a second year in a row, but I am somewhat concerned that the grower has not made a lot of decisions about what he wants from a nitrogen standpoint. And then we’re going to be planting corn in about 80 days,” says StoneX Financial Risk Management Consultant Matt Blasdel.
He says that he’s not concerned about a lack of supplies, but “just-in-time” fertilizer may not be just-in-time, instead a day or two later with heightened demand just prior to planting.
Blasdel also weighs in on where he thinks fertilizer prices are headed. He says that more than anything, fertilizer markets hate it when there’s no new news to talk about, and it’s been that way since the holidays.
“Markets have really chugged lower, and I think that’s going to come to an end. Could we move lower in the next couple of weeks? I think that’s possible, especially if we have a grower that still hasn’t bought some stuff. But I think our downward slide largely has made its move and we start to watch it go much more sideways, maybe even an uptick higher.”
For in-season fertilizer options, Blasdel gives his advice.
“Especially if you’re an anhydrous side dresser, I’m much more okay with keeping your head on a swivel and waiting to make that decision to see if we do get lower prices. I think supplies will be there. So, I’m not worried about that.”
Blasdel says that’s not necessarily the case if UAN is your nitrogen of choice for side dress.
“I think what makes sense do is look at the ratios. So, what does it take? How many bushels of corn does it take to cover your fertilizer bill? If you look back at previous years and that ratio is in an advantageous area, I’m not going to tell a guy that he shouldn’t lock that in.”
Blasdel spoke Tuesday at the First Farmers Bank & Trust Ag Summit at Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium. You can hear the full HAT interview below.