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Fertilizer applications indicate 90 million corn acres to be planted in U.S.qrcode

Nov. 9, 2010

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Nov. 9, 2010

Fertilizer applications indicate 90 million corn acres to be planted in U.S.

Those directly involved in the fertilizer business think U.S. corn plantings will easily top 90 million acres next spring.

This estimate is based on unusually strong fertilizer demand for fall application and widespread bullishness about crop prices.

USDA says 88.2 million acres were planted to corn last spring, so a 90-million-acre total would be a 2% year-to-year increase.

Tonnage estimates wont be available until January, but fertilzier dealers throughout the Midwest say their nitrogen sales so far this fall are up more than 2%.

Traditionally about 45% of all fertilizer is applied in the fall and 55% in the spring.

But if the weather cooperates, a larger-than-normal portion of the fertilizer for next years crop will be applied "before snow flies."

Harry Vroomen, Vice President of Economic Servies for The Fertilizer Institute in Washington D.C., predicts higher crop prices will add six to eight million acres to combined corn, soybean, wheat and cotton plantings.

Those four crops utilized 230.5 million acres in 2010, so an acreage increase of that size would be in the 2.5% to 3.5% range.

Strong demand has driven fertilizer costs higher and it is widely assumed most fertilizer prices will continue to be pushed upward as long as the corn market remains in an uptrend.

Anhydrous ammonia prices in central Illinois have gone from a little above $400 a year ago to about $650 now, with some contacts talking about the possibility of $800 anhydrous before winter.

The price of DAP in that part of the country is currently in the $450 range, up from about $300 a year earlier.

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