December Nutrient Pricing --
December offered a mixed bag for inputs pricing, but all prices found their way lower over the month with the notable exception of Anhydrous, which ended the month on a downturn, but this nod to the lowside was not enough to cover the gains made in the previous 4 weeks. MAP, Potash, Urea and Farm Diesel all followed the Inputs Monitor Composite to the lowside for the entire month -- LP remains largely unchanged from the last week of November.
Anhydrous moved $12.25 higher during the month adding 1.38% to end at $881.91; UAN28 $4.42 lower all told at 374.08; UAN32 $8.78 lower month-over to $419.66; Urea dove for the downside, throwing off $12.42, a 2.14% decline to end the month at $565.45.
DAP eliminated gains from the first week of December -- $9.34 lower month-over to $648.33; MAP slid the entire month ending at $656.16.
Potash also fell the entire month shedding $13.67 -- a 2.26% decline -- to end the month at $590.75.
Farm diesel dropped 0.071 during the month to end at $3.554 per gallon; LP moved four cents higher during the first week of December but stood pat the rest of the month to end mostly unchanged at $1.441 per gallon.
In the News --
I interviewed Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey regarding the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The Nutrient Reduction Strategy is in response to the EPA's call for all states along the Mississippi to reduce the flow of N&P to the Gulf of Mexico, and to clean up streams and waterways statewide. Allow me to urge you to follow this story closely as the way you apply fertilizer could be dramatically affected.
Gulf Hypoxia Reduction -- Voluntary v. Regulatory
Gulf Hypoxia -- More From Ag Secretary Bill Northey
The short-term outlook for P&K showed dramatic improvements while the future of Nitrogen pricing finds itself tied to transport costs.
Phosphate Outlook Improves -- K Still in Good Supply
Nitrogen Outlook Muddy
Making a simple switch from one fuel to another can save a bundle on dryer costs, and the U of Minnesota offers advice for keeping your barn roof intact this winter.
Save on Dryer Costs -- Switch to Natural Gas
Avoid Roof Collapses from Snow on Agricultural Buildings
Internationally, China passes on Autumn Canadian Potash leaving a 50% surplus of K in Saskatchewan, and the #2 rice exporter in 2011 shows signs of self-sufficiency by reducing projected fertilizer imports in the coming year.
What's This Got to do With The Price of K in China?
Vietnam -- Fertilizer Imports Decrease 50%
Your Inputs Monitor was a part of Pro Farmer's annual Profit Briefing Seminar Series this month, and I have chronicled what I have learned on the road in weekly blogs. Access these through the Inputs Monitor website under the 'Inputs Blogs' section. There are still four more stops along the Profit Briefing trail in the month of January. Consider joining Brian Grete, Chip Flory, Mike Walsten along with other Pro Farmer staple speakers -- including myself for a look at where inputs pricing has been, and where it is headed.
Moving forward, your Inputs Monitor has big ideas for the coming year. We will expand our coverage to include the delta growing region, and add charts to our weekly numeric pricing data updates. It has been a great first few months, and we here at the Monitor appreciate the encouragement growers have given us. At its inception, the Inputs Monitor's mission was to bring Pro Farmer's coverage full circle. After 40 years of leveling the information playing field for growers, the Monitor is pleased to help growers make sound marketing and risk management decisions based on hard data, an eye toward the news and a proven track record of success.
A prosperous, happy new year to you, and keep an eye on the Inputs Monitor as part of Pro Farmer's total production coverage.