Entering 2011, Vroomen said growers should keep these facts in mind:

  • On the potash side, specifically, (data suggests) India and China’s use will continue to grow even quicker than N and phosphate.
  • On the negative side, ammonia rail rates will continue to rise.
  • EPA has allowed higher amounts of ethanol in fuel.
  • All these things should lead to increases in long-term fertilizer demand.
  • In 2010/2011, “we have strong demand for nitrogen and, again, recovery in P and “K.
  • Raw material prices, natural gas, “went very high in 2007/2008 and dropped dramatically with the development of shale gas production in the United States. Recently, those prices have risen rapidly.”
  • Phosphate prices – historically, around $25 before hitting record highs in 2007/2008 – are lower but still well above historical levels.
  • The value of the U.S. dollar is also negative. “It was very low in 2007/2008 and is again.”
  • dbennett@farmpress.com