Message To Growers: Fertilizer Still Worth It

Elliott Nowels, a vice president at CropLife eNews parent company Meister Media Worldwide, traveled on our behalf to the annual Fertilizer Marketing Meeting of The Fertilizer Institute (TFI). He provided some thoughts on the meeting, and the fertilizer market, in this "from the road" report.

Even at higher prices, fertilizer remains worth the investment when considered against the potential for more bushels of valuable grains say those close to the nutrient marketplace.

TFI held its annual Fertilizer Marketing Meeting this week and more than a few conversations revolved around helping people see the great value in nutrients even at higher cost.

"Help put things into perspective for the grower," says Denny Addis, president of the Plant Nutrient Group at The Andersons when asked how dealers should respond to grower concern over price. "Retailers shouldn’t get defensive about fertilizer prices in conversations with farmers."

Addis says that there is still a very good story to be told about the ratio of input cost to commodity prices.

"Encourage farmers to figure out the number of bushels output needed to cover their input costs," he says. Addis is confident that it will be a lower ratio than when fertilizer was being sold at less than its cost of production and corn was around $2 per bushel.

Dr. John Douglas, long-time fertilizer market watcher and consultant, agrees. Douglas graduated from Harvard in 1948 and has 60 years in and around the business of plant nutrients. He says these are the highest prices he’s ever seen for both fertilizer and commodities, but not the highest ratio between the two.

"There have been several times when the ratio has been higher. Not by much, perhaps, but it has been higher," Douglas says.
 

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