Input costs rise as planting season approaches

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The price to plant this year's crop seems to keep going up for farmers who have yet to lock in their input purchases.

The Illinois Department of Agricultures most recent statewide production cost report  showed an increase in the price for all seven inputs - anhydrous ammonia, urea, liquid nitrogen 28 percent spread, diammonium phosphate, potash, lime, and diesel fuel - it tracks each month.

The average price of anhydrous ammonia in the state as of March 4, at $527.82 per ton, was up $4.14 from the previous month while the average prices of potash, $484.56 per ton, and liquid nitrogen, $256.12 per ton, inched up $4.32 and $6.61, respectively.

Meanwhile, retail gasoline and diesel fuel prices last week surged to new highs so far this year. The national average price for regular gasoline was $2.75 per gallon, up 81 cents from last year, while the average diesel price was $2.90 per gallon, up 86 cents from last year.

Input costs are still a huge factor that affect profitability, said Ron Moore, chairman of the Illinois Soybean Association. Fertilizer prices have come down from 2008 and 2009 highs but chemical costs, capital costs, land prices, and cash rents aren’t coming down.

Source: Illinois Farm Bureau


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