Fertiliser prices in Ireland have fallen by as much as €250/t from the peak figures experienced earlier this year.
Late 2021 and early 2022 saw prices surge by 178% in the year up to April, according to data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
This huge increase in the cost of chemical fertiliser resulted in many farmers opting to reduce, and in some cases eliminate, the use of chemical fertiliser on their farms.
Recently, chemical fertiliser prices have eased and Agriland contacted a number of agri-stores selling fertiliser across the country to get a picture of where prices are currently.
It is important to point out that the prices mentioned in this article are merely representative of the supply stores contacted by Agriland and some agri-stores across the country may be charging more, while others may be charging less.
For Calcium Ammonium Nitrate (CAN) (27% nitrogen), the stores contacted by Agriland quoted prices ranging from €800-850/t.
Interestingly, the stores charging the lower rate of €800/t said when prices peaked in April, they were charging farmers as high as €1,050/t for CAN, indicating a fall of €250/t since then.
Compound fertilisers have also fallen in price, with a slightly larger variation in prices.
Prices for 18:6:12 ranged from €860-950/t; prices for 10:10:20 ranged from €930-950; and 27:2.5:5 compounds varied from €940-980/t.
There are a number of factors that will determine what agri-stores charge for fertiliser, with the main factor being the price the product was bought at.
None of the suppliers seemed confident on speculating as to the future direction of fertiliser price, with many admitting they are only buying supplies as they need them and are “not forward-buying too much product”.
The price of fertiliser this year has accelerated the reduction in dependency on chemical fertiliser on many farms around the country, with farmers moving to increase the levels of clover in their swards and other farmers incorporating multi-species swards into their grazing platform.