Tight fertilizer supplies expected this spring

Tight fertilizer supplies expected this spring

March 31, 2014


Producers can expect to see tight fertilizer supplies this spring, according to Ben Thompson, CHS Inc. northwest region crop nutrient manger.

“There is enough fertilizer in the world for farming this year,” said Thompson. “The problem is getting it where it has to be.”

Thompson believes 2014 will be a very unusual year because supplies of fertilizer aren’t going to be positioned on a domestic level where it needs to be at the beginning of growing season.

“The challenge is getting enough product around,” said Thompson. “From this year compared to last year, we’ve seen a 600,000 ton drop in urea imports, which is a huge number to overcome.”

In addition to the drop in urea supply, there are many logistical challenges that make deliveries from U.S. entry points, such as those in the gulf, to various inland locations.

“The challenges from ports of entry include rail cars not moving quickly enough or being held up,” said Thompson. “The system is going to move a lot slower.”

Thompson mentioned how the rail cars have been over-tasked, and that it started during last season’s harvest.

“It started back when grain didn’t’ move during last harvest,” said Thompson. “There is lots of grain that still hasn’t been delivered into the market yet.”

The down year correlates with the amount of crop that is still out in the field, which has led to farmer’s money remaining in the field instead of in the bank.

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