When It Comes To Fertilizer, You’ve Got Opinions

I’ve noticed throughout my 19 years on the CropLife staff that the topic of fertilizer — be it pricing, availability, etc. — is always one that retailers are quite passionate about. And the comments sent in to our question of what fertilizer subject you’d like see covered in the annual CropLife eNews spring series reflect that passion.

Our spring series focus the past two years was on crop protection concerns du jour, but this year we decided to let you determine the series’ direction. After your votes practicially screamed fertilizer, this past week we asked you to help narrow it down to pricing, use during a wet/cold spring such as this one seems to be shaping into, logistics, or a write-in selection.

Here’s what some of you had to say about your topic choice (all submitted anonymously):

  • “Supply availability to the U.S. farmer.”
  • “Supply, demand, and pricing in a global market.”
  • “Fertilizer manufacturer greed in creating shortages and ‘laying off’ tons of price variation risk on their poor little dealer customers; so they can later scoop them up in the fire sale when they force prices to collapse. You might also talk about potash manufacturers and their near monopoly or maybe their price fixing; when they announce to the media their intentions to hike prices. It would also be interesting to talk about how these same manufacturers made ‘so-much-money’ that they can now scoop up not only other manufacturers but also much of the retail chain. I guess you can’t say that near monopolies are not profitable.”
  • “Fertilizer placement; broadcast, banded surface applied, banded 2+2, and banded with strip-till. Also I would like to know how to handle poor quality urea. Many growers switched to urea on wheat this year to save a few dollars but it has cost them dearly due to the poor spread patterns of the lumps and dust in the product.
  • “Fertilizer Use Efficiency, application timings with respect to potential losses, and sensor-based management.”

You’ve given us a lot to chew on, and we’ll factor in your comments. If you’d like to weigh in, you can still do so this week in the Comment box below.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “When It Comes To Fertilizer, You’ve Got Opinions

  1. Amy,
    My 40 years of retail has taught me that most ag retailers refer to themsevlves as “fertilizer dealers”. I prefer to call myself as an ag retailer who hopes that farmers consider me one of their “trusted advisors”. The days of counting on fertilizer as the “Cash Ciow” are over and we had better find out how to make money in chems,seed and services or we won’t need to keep cussing the fertilizer manufacturers, although,I agree that most of them are greedy,cocky, and don’t give a damn about agricuture. That makes the chemical manufactures look like saints.

  2. Never mind the monopolies on the fertilizer supply end, better start paying attention to the monopoly on the retail end. In many parts of the country one company holds sway and is actively pressuring the chem. suppliers. The chem. suppliers give them at least a 15% advantage over the other retailers and distributors.

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