Plan ahead to beat a tight crop nutrient market

March 8, 2022
Todd Dysle, CHS crop nutrient expert, talks about fertilizer considerations ahead of spring planting and how world events are affecting the crop nutrient market.

Looking ahead at fertilizer supply and pricing often comes with a degree of uncertainty. For growers worried about a tight crop nutrient market this year, the best remedy is to assess needs and build a fertilizer plan now, according to Todd Dysle, CHS crop nutrient expert.

“If we look at what impacts the pricing of fertilizer, it’s all based on supply and demand,” says Dysle. “It’s a global market and over the last 12 months, we’ve seen supply chain disruptions, adverse weather events and production maintenance turnarounds. All of these issues have left supplies a bit short and values higher compared to the last few years.”

Expect limited supplies to continue

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is likely to tighten the crop nutrient market later this year, Dysle adds.

“Our primary concern is the safety of those in or fleeing from Ukraine, including our CHS employees in the region. We are closely monitoring the situation and supporting those affected,” says Dysle. “If we look at the impact of the conflict on crop nutrients, it’s definitely a supply hit to the entire global market. That region of the globe exports a significant amount of fertilizer to the rest of the world through the Baltic Sea to the north and the Black Sea to the south. The ongoing conflict will impact fertilizer supplies, probably less for this spring season and more as we move into the second half of the year.”

Have a plan

Spring planting is just around the corner and the best chance of having sufficient crop nutrients on hand is by creating a plan, rather than reacting to needs, Dysle advises. Planning starts with talking to your local cooperative.

“Growers who work with their supplier to establish what they’re planting and what products they’ll need are going to be in a much better position than those who wait until they need to make purchases,” says Dysle. “High fertilizer prices are also a good reason to implement 4R Nutrient Stewardship: Applying the right source at the right rate and the right time in the right place.”