There has been increased demand for fertiliser around the country over the past two weeks, as farmers look for regrowth on silage stubble.
Farmers are getting ground ready for either second cuts or grazing, meaning increased fertiliser demand.
However, there is still a substantial number of farmers trying to get their silage made, with progress being hampered by the showery weather. This could prove a limiting factor that may dampen a further increase in fertiliser sales.
Merchants are charging €5-15/t on top of the price/t, depending on the distance. All prices below are inclusive of VAT.
South-east: The cheapest place to buy
One merchant in the south-east said: “Demand has not yet peaked, because many farmers still haven’t cut their silage. Demand is expected to rise sharply, once the first cut has been made.
“Demand for fertiliser peaked during April,” the merchant added.
A quote of €225/t was received for CAN, with a steady demand, while 18:6:12 sold for €330/t.
South-west: Demand picking up
Merchants in the south-west say that demand for fertiliser has been relatively steady over the past two weeks. Farmers have been cutting silage between the showers, but it is still a struggle.
The merchant commented on how “a wetter crop will inevitably impact on quality”.
Competitive prices in the west
Like in other parts of the country, the amount of farmers getting 1st cut silage in the pit is variable.
One merchant said:
For those that have cut silage in late May, there have been some problems with nitrogen still in the grass – leading to problems regarding poor fermentation.
Western fertiliser prices remain competitive with the south-west, but are somewhat higher than the south-east.
Increased use of fertiliser in the midlands
The amount of fertiliser that farmers in the midlands have been using has “increased” in recent weeks.
“Recent weather conditions, which favour growth, have encouraged farmers to apply more CAN onto grazing ground,” it was said. CAN is selling for €240-250/t, compared to prices of €225-240/t in the south-east.
North-west: Work is getting done
Meanwhile, in the north-west, farmers are “progressing nicely” with their first cuts of silage.
“A lot of work is being done between the showers. This is causing quite a stir in the local co-ops, as farmers are looking to buy compound fertilisers such as 18:6:12,” one merchant said.
He added: “Prices are higher in the north-west because of the increased logistical cost to get fertiliser up to Donegal.”