Ammonia reapplication demand poor - US retailer

14 July 2008 00:15  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS news)--Ammonia demand for side-dressing and reapplication in the US cornbelt this year was "poor" and this was one of the weakest seasons in the past five years, a fertilizer retailer said on Sunday.

The weakness in demand was due to weather rather than prices, said Henry Merschman of Merschman Fertilizers in West Point, Iowa.

Flooding this northern summer devastated many farms in several midwestern states and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said last month that farmers may have lost as much as $3bn (€1.9bn) in his state alone.

Iowa was still slowly recovering from the flooding, and some parts of the state remain under water, Merschman said at the Southwestern Fertilizer Conference.

Merschman also said it was "unbelievable" how far ahead fertilizer distributors were purchasing product before planting seasons.

Some commitments were made in March of this year to purchase UAN solution intended for next summer’s crops, he said.

"It seems like it gets earlier and earlier every year," Merschman said.

The Southwestern Fertilizer Conference, held annually in San Antonio, runs through Tuesday.

($1 = €0.63)

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By: David Rosen

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