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Fertiliser- Confusion and uncertainty!

By Ian Buchanan

What is currently happening?
● Farmers are reluctant to order as they are not sure if today’s prices will stick!
● Manufacturers, in particular blenders, are fearful of what Brexit may mean, so are shipping in a lot of raw materials
● CF (formerly Kemira) are still catching up after a long shutdown and cannot take orders for delivery before March

What this means for prices at the time of writing:
● Basically prices are flat to falling.
● There is so much fertiliser raw material in the country that it needs moving before any more can come in to replace it.
What this means for prices going forward:
● Uncertainty and confusion as a lot of the factors above contradict each other.
● Brexit is a big unknown re supply, pricing and potential currency changes
What should you do?
● Place your order with us so that we know what you want and when!

We are owned by you our farmer members, so we will do what is best for you. Currently we are sitting on the orders and placing them with a manufacturer only when we see spot offers or when we are concerned that prices may start to move up.

There is so much uncertainty around fertiliser pricing at the moment that most farmers are sat on the fence thinking I’ll just order it for when I want it. I can understand this but there is a lot more to fertiliser buying and use than trying to save £5/tonne. As a general rule remaining silage stocks are very low after last summer’s warm, dry weather and everyone will want fertiliser on as soon as ground conditions allow, to give themselves the best possible chance of maximising cuts and volume of silage. If you don’t have fertiliser on farm then this isn’t an option and it could end up costing many times more than a small saving on the price of the fertiliser.

Every year there is the threat that fertiliser won’t arrive on farm when required but deliveries are well behind last year and a local haulier who hauls a lot of fertiliser into Cumbria for national manufacturers said to me that he’d be picking names out of a hat for delivery come the start of March, as not everyone can have it!
Rigid vehicle deliveries are becoming much more difficult every year as there are less and less rigid vehicles available and we have recently changed one of ours for a wagon and drag to allow us to continue to service farmers that cannot get an artic in. It is imperative, that if you must have delivery on a rigid, you give us as much notice as possible. Where it is possible you will get product much quicker if you can unload an artic at the roadside on to a trailer to take to the farm.

In summary, despite the uncertainty, you should be ordering with us now.

We can place your order with any number of suppliers or we can sit on it as required. This week we are delivering to a farm who, when he gets his invoice, will see that the price across all of his tonnage has dropped by an average of £3/t from the prices we quoted – a saving of over £300.

If other companies were able to save that, they would pocket it and it would boost their shareholders profits and be taken out of farming.
We work for you so give you back everything we can!

Joining Aspatria Farmers

We always welcome new farmer members and as well as talking to our team please feel free to complete the attached New Members Form and mail it to us with your cheque and we will handle it from there!

Aspatria Farmers | aspatriafarmers.co.uk
Station Works, Aspatria, Cumbria, CA7 3JW
info@aspatriafarmers.co.uk | 01697 320207 | Copyright 2018 Aspatria Farmers Ltd.