Rising prices mean headache for farmers

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News article

Rising prices mean headache for farmers

September 2010

rural consultancy news

The recent rise in the price of wheat brought welcome relief to some farmers who were fearing another year of disappointing prices but any relief was short lived with news that fertiliser prices, in particular ammonium nitrate and urea had increased by up to £30/t.

The jump is being blamed on the rallying of grain prices at the end of August. However, as the grain price then fell back, the fertiliser prices remain high.

The global supply of fertiliser is reduced this year and whilst stock levels are down it is always difficult to apportion how much of the price rise is due to market conditions and how much is down to traders and merchants talking the price up. 

Unfortunately, farmers are facing a period of high input prices there is no indication that the price of some fertiliser will reduce significantly over the next quarter and some merchants are already predicting further rises - in particular urea which could top £300/t by Christmas.

These and other input price fluctuations are nothing new to farmers and whilst it is difficult to predict the market there are steps which can be taken to reduce exposure to these changes.

Tom Heathcote of Fisher German comments: “Farmers need to ensure that they are actually applying the correct type and amount of fertiliser which is required by the specific crop and applying it through well maintained and calibrated machinery.

 A last minute decision to chop straw instead of baling it will change the crop requirements and the fertiliser recommendations should be adjusted accordingly. With fertiliser prices as they are at the moment, even small reductions in the total volume required can have significant cost savings." 

For further information please contact Tom Heathcote on 01858 411222 or 07918 628983 or email tom.heathcote@fishergerman.co.uk

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