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Calculate the Best Fertilizer Strategy for Your Operation

Take control of one of your biggest input costs.

Running a farm operation requires year-round planning, preparation, and being two steps ahead. With the spring season nearly upon us, the rush is on to get corn, soybeans, wheat, and other crops planted.

Most farmers book their seed months before planting season. They clean and tune-up tractors, planters, combines, and other equipment all winter long. For those who rent land, their acres are lined up well before the planters begin to roll. So how about fertilizer? Are farmers buying these nutrients each spring just when the ground begins to thaw or are they buying them at the right time which sometimes can be months in advance?

In this month’s podcast, listeners will learn about the current state of the fertilizer market, the outlook on the upcoming growing season, and a few tools and tips to better manage fertilizer needs on an annual basis. The ADM Fertilizer team comprised of Jake Niederer, Ashley Duehn and Zach Jans share their insights in this new episode of In the Driver’s Seat.

A new ADM Fertilizer Calculator was recently released to help producers look at all of their input costs and gain a clearer picture of how fertilizer fits into their total operational expenditures. The tool allows farmers to compare prices from both ADM and local retailers, as well as equipment costs associated with farmers storing bulk fertilizer on their own property.

The calculator helps producers have more transparency and control over their fertilizer purchasing decisions. Along with price comparisons, farmers can look ahead at how the prices cycle. For example, UAN in a local area may be cheapest in October, while the lowest price for Urea could be in May – the year before it’s needed.

“The biggest challenge is encouraging producers to think about purchasing their fertilizer differently than how they’re doing it today. Many producers are used to calling their retailer and getting their price two to three weeks before they go to the field,” said Duehn. “It’s best to start looking at your fertilizer eight, nine, up to 12 months in advance. It’s the best time to buy.”

One hurdle is that not every producer is set up to receive and spread fertilizer on their own. Getting that infrastructure in place is an investment, but it can be an integral and efficient step to create a more progressive farm operation that saves time and money in the long run. ADM’s calculator builds those costs into a customized plan. Once a conveyer and on-farm storage system are established, ADM can help source and deliver product, including custom blends (in some areas), through its economical and vast transportation network.

In addition to the new calculator, the ADM Fertilizer Portal is an online, fertilizer business hub. In response to customer feedback, ADM created this interactive portal with more functionality, so customers can request quotes, submit orders, access contracts and release numbers, view their transaction history, and better manage their crop nutrient inputs. In the coming weeks, they’ll also be able to process invoices through the portal.

According to Niederer, “The ADM Portal is a valuable, user-friendly resource. When a trucker goes into a terminal and needs a release number, we can pull it up or when a customer has a question about an order, they can access their account and an ADM representative directly through the portal to quickly resolve an issue.”

The use of different tools and platforms are best when fed into a comprehensive farm management plan that producers use to guide important decisions and timelines for selling grain, buying fertilizer, investing in new equipment, reupping insurance, and using contracts to navigate market trends.

One contract discussed in this episode is the Price Daily™ contract that enables producers to manage their risk rather than be forced to make spot-selling decisions. The Price Daily contract prices an equal amount of grain daily, during a chosen pricing window, and takes the average of the daily closing price.

Using a toolbox of different resources is the best way to get ahead, but it also provides farmers with growth opportunities to learn and pivot when needed. With another busy season on the cusp for farmers, ADM offers practical tips and insights through its monthly In the Driver’s Seat podcast, ADM Farm Direct Fertilizer Report and other forums. Below are three tips from this month’s guests:

zach jans head shotZach Jans: The weather is uncontrollable, so scheduling fertilizer logistics ahead of time helps reduce stress and enables farmers to hit the ground running in the spring.


jake niederer head shotJake Niederer: Start thinking about next year now. Keep an eye on fertilizer prices by looking into forward markets.



ashley duehn head shotAshley Duehn: Download the ADM Fertilizer Portal App and start exploring its features.



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Use the Mobile App

Prefer to order fertilizer on your smartphone? Download the ADM Fertilizer app today and order away.


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Fertilizer, just like other inputs and agriculture products, is a market, with seasonal pricing trends. The ADM Fertilizer team, along with new online tools, are available to help producers take advantage of these realities.

Ready to up your crop nutrition game? Contact us today.

ADM is providing this communication for informational purposes, and it is not a solicitation or offer to purchase or sell commodities. The recommendations in this communication do not take into account any particular individual’s or company’s objectives or needs, which should be considered before engaging in any commodity transactions based on these recommendations. The sources for the information and recommendations in this communication are believed to be reliable, but ADM does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of the information or recommendations. ADM or its affiliates may hold or take positions for their own accounts that are different from the positions recommended in this communication. The information and recommendations in this communication are subject to change without notice.

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