Planting delays are NOT the only thing concerning producers in regard to yield. Fertilizer, or lack there of, seems to be a concern in many growing regions. The problem is the small planting window created a huge demand for fertilizer in a very short time period. It is being estimated that U.S. farmers planted about 42 million acres of corn in one week last month, almost twice as much as we would normally ever plant in one week. With many ag retailers forced to draw supplies out of the Gulf or Canada producers are seeing unusually long delays for key crop nutrients like urea and liquid nitrogen. The crop can hang on for a while without any fertilizer, but if producers are forced to wait too long the plant will certainly see some stress and top-end yields could be reduced. Believe it or not many inside the industry think it takes more than 60 days to get fertilizer from its origin into the farmers hands.
Point is, you might be seeing a jump in fertilizer prices, not due to lack of supply, but rather logistical constraints. Remember, our goal is to try and stay one step ahead of the crowd, make sure you are skating to where the puck is going to be and not where it is currently at.