Fertilizer producers are suffering from a surplus of production, weak crop prices and slow demand.  |  File photo

Low prices cut fertilizer makers’ profit

Second quarter net earnings for PotashCorp fell 71 percent, while Mosaic Co. reported a loss of $10 million

North America’s biggest fertilizer companies reported large drops in quarterly profits last week. Two companies, Agrium Inc. and CF Industries Holdings, warned of tough times ahead as abundant supplies weighed on prices. However, Mosaic and PotashCorp indicated the worst might be over, at least in the potash sector. “We believe the uncertainty that weighed on […] Read more

A global glut of fertilizers has made them more affordable. Future price direction depends on factors such as U.S. crop size and Chinese urea exports.  |  File photo

Will fertilizer prices continue to fall?

PotashCorp thinks widening crop-fertilizer value gap will lift nutrient prices but a private analyst disagrees

Some of the major players in the fertilizer business believe prices are headed higher in the second half of 2016 but an industry analyst disagrees. Price direction was a hot topic during quarterly results conference calls for a number of manufacturers. PotashCorp, the world’s largest fertilizer company, showed investment analysts a chart highlighting the widening […] Read more

Canadian farmers who buy nitrogen fertilizer this fall will enjoy the lowest prices in years.  |  File photo

Urea price at rock bottom, says analyst

Urea prices have dropped as low as they are going to go, according to a fertilizer analyst. “In our opinion, we’re at the bottom of the market,” said Glen Buckley, co-owner of NPK Fertilizer Advisory Service. The price at the Gulf of Mexico late last week was US$252 per short ton. “They have really tanked,” […] Read more

Mosaic says the $1.7 million investment at Esterhazy, Sask., will create jobs and provide economic spinoffs to the province.  |  Mosaic Co. photo

Mosaic plans expansion at Sask. potash mine

Official says the Esterhazy K3 mine expansion is an effort to keep ahead of the competition

Mosaic Co. has announced a $1.7 billion investment in its K3 mine at Esterhazy, Sask. The spending comes on top of $1.5 billion announced in 2009 when the first stage of the project was ap-proved. Walt Precourt, senior vice-president of potash, said the company’s board of directors had spent the last year analyzing the project […] Read more

The optimal depth when banding urea is three inches, says agronomist Rigas Karamanos.  |  File photo

Video: Banding urea? Go deep

Broadcasting urea reduces gaseous losses because it is absorbed by the soil

Farmers who band urea must make sure they do it deep, says an agronomist and fertilizer specialist who has studied the consequences of shallow banding urea. Otherwise, they are better off broadcasting it. Farms are becoming larger and fewer operators need to cover more acres, and “all of the sudden, intentionally or unintentionally, we’re cheating […] Read more

In a few years, when prairie farmers seed they should have more competitive sources for nitrogen fertilizer as several new plants are proposed for the region.  |  File  photo

Fertilizer firms build, expand

U.S. moving to nitrogen self-sufficiency | CHS, a farmer co-op, plans to start construction in Spiritwood, N.D.

The company behind one of three farmer-owned nitrogen fertilizer plants proposed for North Dakota and Saskatchewan is preparing to build. The board of directors of CHS Inc., the largest farmer-owned co-operative in the United States, has ap-proved the final plans for constructing a $3 billion plant in Spiritwood, North Dakota. CHS is the sole investor […] Read more

Ken Vreeling switched to the N-Shooter system because he wanted to get away from frosty lines and frozen mud balls on his openers.  He now has an N-Shooter on each of his three Seed Hawk drills.   |  Ken Vreeling photo

Uniformity goal of N-Shooter injection system

Streaming liquid from tank to shank | Pump keeps distribution of anhydrous ammonia uniform, resulting in uniform crop

BRANDON — Where conventional anhydrous ammonia systems might have 25 percent coefficient of variation left to right on side hills, N-Shooter claims a one percent CV across the toolbar in all situations. “When you have a coefficient of variation of one percent from shank to shank, you know that you’ll have uniform distribution of nitrogen […] Read more

Farmers could enjoy lower nitrogen fertilizer prices if projections about future production projects come true. |  File photo

Future fertilizer supplies expected to send prices down

New facilities | Prices should decline for the long term

Fertilizer analysts say a rash of new production plants will drive down nitrogen prices for years to come, reducing the cost of the biggest input expense on Canadian farms. “We’re just about at the tipping point of seeing this cycle begin to turn,” said David Asbridge, president of NPK Fertilizer Advisory. “We’re definitely heading to […] Read more

Jana claims Agrium’s retail business, including Crop Production Services in undervalued.  |  File photo

Agrium, Jana face off over retail

Fertilizer dealers worried | Jana pushes for changes, including spinning off retail outlets

An attempt by Agrium’s largest shareholder to spin off the company’s retail arm has caught the attention of farm groups concerned about vertical integration in the fertilizer industry. Jana Partners LLC announced last week that it is attempting to get five handpicked candidates elected to Agrium’s 11-person board of directors. Jana is a fund manager […] Read more

Investor details on proposed fertilizer plant coming

North Dakota facility | Location of the nitrogen plant will be decided before Christmas, says the corn growers president

The proponents of a farmer-owned nitrogen fertilizer plant in North Dakota will make an offering to potential investors soon, says the president of the North Dakota Corn Growers Association. “It really is our goal to have it (the offering) out in the near future,” said Darin Anderson, who farms near Valley City, N.D. “We’d like […] Read more