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DFW Area Landscaper
12-23-2008, 01:32 PM
When I started my business in January of 2003, a quality bag of Lesco fertilizer was running around $10.50 per bag.

Then the Lesco sales reps start pointing their fingers at natural gas prices. They burn natural gas to produce fertilizer.

The price for a bag of Lesco fertlizer, I stopped buying from them in 2008, I think it peaked around 28 bucks last summer...and that's buying it several pallets at a time.

Ok, so natural gas is about where it was before all this BS started. I spoke with my Lesco guy last week and he's saying fert prices are down about $3 a bag.

WTF!!! Anyone know what we can expect to pay for fert this season? The chain stores (Home Depot/Lowes) were selling 50 pound bags of fert for about the same or even less than what I was paying to buy in bulk. The problem is, the chain stores don't have a bag that would work for me...it's either got iron (stains on concrete) or it's got broadleaf herbicide (kills client's pansies/flowers) or it's got too much phosphorus (promotes flowering on bermuda...ugly). I just don't understand why the chains stores can sell a 50 pound bag of stuff for less than what I pay to buy it on a commercial/bulk level.

DUSTYCEDAR
12-23-2008, 01:34 PM
just waite and shop around prices will fall

tlg
12-23-2008, 02:31 PM
When I started my business in January of 2003, a quality bag of Lesco fertilizer was running around $10.50 per bag.

Then the Lesco sales reps start pointing their fingers at natural gas prices. They burn natural gas to produce fertilizer.

The price for a bag of Lesco fertlizer, I stopped buying from them in 2008, I think it peaked around 28 bucks last summer...and that's buying it several pallets at a time.

Ok, so natural gas is about where it was before all this BS started. I spoke with my Lesco guy last week and he's saying fert prices are down about $3 a bag.

WTF!!! Anyone know what we can expect to pay for fert this season? The chain stores (Home Depot/Lowes) were selling 50 pound bags of fert for about the same or even less than what I was paying to buy in bulk. The problem is, the chain stores don't have a bag that would work for me...it's either got iron (stains on concrete) or it's got broadleaf herbicide (kills client's pansies/flowers) or it's got too much phosphorus (promotes flowering on bermuda...ugly). I just don't understand why the chains stores can sell a 50 pound bag of stuff for less than what I pay to buy it on a commercial/bulk level.

The big box stores will take a loss on fert just to get customers in the store. The margin on the fert really means nothing to them. They make their money on all the other stuff you buy when you go in for that bag of fert. Believe me that $8.00 gas can you buy only cost them pennies. Lowe's used to sell a $99.00 lawn mower years ago. They only made a dollar on the thing. They knew that they would up sell the customer on all the other stuff they needed. things like , gas cans, oil, accessories etc...

The fert being sold today was produced with materials bought when prices were up. Way up in fact. Don't expect prices to fall dramatically anytime soon. The market will dictate what happens. There is just a lot of supply out there that needs to move out first.

LawnRunner
12-24-2008, 07:48 AM
DFW,

Since being in business I bought all my products from Lesco. This year when I did fall seedings the price on their 18-24-12 was about double what I paid in the previous year. This November I called to check the price on their 24-5-11 and it too was about double. I checked at Lowes and found 29-0-5 for less per bag and didn't have to make the 100 mile round trip to pick it up.

bug-guy
12-26-2008, 08:15 AM
The big box stores will take a loss on fert just to get customers in the store. The margin on the fert really means nothing to them. They make their money on all the other stuff you buy when you go in for that bag of fert. Believe me that $8.00 gas can you buy only cost them pennies. Lowe's used to sell a $99.00 lawn mower years ago. They only made a dollar on the thing. They knew that they would up sell the customer on all the other stuff they needed. things like , gas cans, oil, accessories etc...

The fert being sold today was produced with materials bought when prices were up. Way up in fact. Don't expect prices to fall dramatically anytime soon. The market will dictate what happens. There is just a lot of supply out there that needs to move out first.



they say mcdonalds makes very little on the burgers and other sandwiches
but make a killing on fries and cokes

mngrassguy
12-26-2008, 10:58 PM
I remember getting fert for $6.00/ bag in the late 80's

meomypete
01-16-2009, 01:53 PM
We produce very little fertlizer in the US. Most is produce in Canada for P K and S. The Niitrogen and S comes from Iran, Russia, or other Oil produceng countries. There the Gas is less than $1 per MCF, in the US gas is now $3 to 5 and has been up to $12 last summer. My gas well roality is paying me 2.44 right now. It takes 33 MCF to produce one US ton of Ammonia. The gas is used to make hydrogen for the Ammonia. For them it is easier to ship ammonia or Urea than liquid NG. Now A 20 lbs bag has about $2 of materal. The rest is markup trans and labor to bag the final stuff. Ammonia at the gulf is $120 but the Suppliers bought large supplies at over $1,000 thinking it was going higher and need to pass this speculative purchase along or go broke like many other speculator in the last year.

Runner
01-16-2009, 05:50 PM
The thing is, is that the gas prices are not the largest factors in the prices of our fertilizers. It is the demand (global) that is doing it. It is the global demand for raw urea that is raising the prices. Most of which is going to countries such as India and China for corn...who are also jumping on the ethanol bandwagon.

meomypete
01-16-2009, 10:08 PM
About the only fertlizer elements ethanol contains is Carbon, Oxygen, and hydrogen. The rest used to fertlize the corn is still used in food production. So really ethanol just uses the carbohydates from the corn and the others are recovered for use in feeds and other industrial feed stocks. Sulphur is used in ethanol production but is left over to be used again some where else. Speculation has made S expensive because it is a petro waste product that brings $25/ ton before it is burned to produce sulphuric acid to make other fertlizers, yet by the time it gets to the end user it is 25 to 100 cents a pound.
Time will sort it all out except government is interfering and protecting those who are not productive enough to make wealth...its bailout time.

Grassyknoll99
01-17-2009, 11:03 AM
When I started my business in January of 2003, a quality bag of Lesco fertilizer was running around $10.50 per bag.

Then the Lesco sales reps start pointing their fingers at natural gas prices. They burn natural gas to produce fertilizer.

The price for a bag of Lesco fertlizer, I stopped buying from them in 2008, I think it peaked around 28 bucks last summer...and that's buying it several pallets at a time.

Ok, so natural gas is about where it was before all this BS started. I spoke with my Lesco guy last week and he's saying fert prices are down about $3 a bag.

WTF!!! Anyone know what we can expect to pay for fert this season? The chain stores (Home Depot/Lowes) were selling 50 pound bags of fert for about the same or even less than what I was paying to buy in bulk. The problem is, the chain stores don't have a bag that would work for me...it's either got iron (stains on concrete) or it's got broadleaf herbicide (kills client's pansies/flowers) or it's got too much phosphorus (promotes flowering on bermuda...ugly). I just don't understand why the chains stores can sell a 50 pound bag of stuff for less than what I pay to buy it on a commercial/bulk level.

I don't know how many distributors you have in your area. Try and call as many as you can. Prices here(Ohio P.a. ILL) have already dropped by almost half. 13-16 dollars a bag for 20-0-0 and higher.

JDL(Lesco) has always used the Nat Gas excuse since I was buying in the late 80's. You have to remember, they are SALESMAN. They are told what to say by corporate to try and create demand. Talk to anybody that used to work there that no longer has ties with them. Their service has always been very good (very few exceptions). Each branch is different I'm sure depending on who you talk to.

Prices are going down, the collapse in every commodity has changed things drastically in the last 6 months. Demand has dropped huge worldwide. Recession,500k job loss every month, overproduction, credit crunch, this is why prices have already fallen.

Shop around and bargain hard, buy a little now if you are nervous.

Good Luck

MnLefty
01-17-2009, 12:32 PM
Prices are going down, the collapse in every commodity has changed things drastically in the last 6 months. Demand has dropped huge worldwide. Recession,500k job loss every month, overproduction, credit crunch, this is why prices have already fallen.

Shop around and bargain hard, buy a little now if you are nervous.

Good Luck

Be careful not to confuse a time shift in demand with a true drop in demand... I think there's a lot more "wait and see" going on than a true drop in demand. When the season hits, how many farmers, LCO's, etc... are actually not going to buy fertilizer? And how many guys will be looking for fert that they normally would already have bought? So then everyone that waited wants their fert at the same time, and demand is as high as ever, while supplies are moderate/low because nobody was buying. Do you really think prices will go down once the spring rush hits?

The other thing to note is that the urea market tanked and prices bottomed out because nobody was buying. Do you think the big manufacturers that were sitting on millions of dollars of $900/ton urea were actually spending tons of money stockpiling cheap urea too? As the supplies move out and the pipeline is refilled the raw materials markets will start turning up (as the urea market appears to have done already).

My opinion, there may be a little dip yet depending on each individual distributor, but as we close in on spring prices will likely start to climb again. Maybe not necessarily a sharp spike, but certainly a turn up. There won't be enough "cheap" supply to go around if everybody tries to wait it out and buy at the absolute bottom, so somebody is going to get left out and end up paying more than they would right now. Again, just my opinion, not trying to scare anybody.

tlg
01-17-2009, 01:18 PM
I could not agree more. I ordered back in December. I will take delivery in mid Feb. Prices have come down some since then. You gotta believe once all the orders for spring that start coming in from those who waited and demand increases, we will then see prices move upward. I really think if you expect to have your fert ready to go this spring you had better order by now.

hmartin
04-12-2009, 04:17 PM
4 months later...... Fert prices seem to be going WAY up at the big box stores in my area. 13-13-13 is $24.95 for a 40 lb bag and the 46 lb bags of Scotts products are $50+. At these prices it would cost $150-$200 an acre just for fertilizer.

jose85
04-13-2009, 12:10 AM
hmm i know i can get the 32-0-0 from lesco for 19.00 bucks 50 lb

mngrassguy
04-13-2009, 01:40 AM
Big box prices are way up. I hope they stay there.

Ric
04-13-2009, 09:39 AM
The thing is, is that the gas prices are not the largest factors in the prices of our fertilizers. It is the demand (global) that is doing it. It is the global demand for raw urea that is raising the prices. Most of which is going to countries such as India and China for corn...who are also jumping on the ethanol bandwagon.

Thank You. But don't forget Brazil as well China and India. As these nations emerge the diet changes to more meat protein sources and it takes 5 to 7 pounds of feed to produce a pound of beef. China's pastures have been over grazed for so many years that they need tons of fert to try and bring them back. Fertilizer is a world supply with an even bigger world demand.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
04-13-2009, 10:05 AM
Picked up some lesco 19-0-6 w .10 Dim for 17.50/bag last week.

Young Bros
04-13-2009, 11:07 AM
Last year was our first year on our own. Fert went up 80% at Lesco and Van Diest for me. It has leveled off and is 20% higher now. I paid $17.5 for Lesco 13-0-5 .1% Dimension this spring. I can get 18-0-9 40% Uflexx from Van Diest at $14.55 a bag. Do you other guys have 2 suppliers you can order from to find the cheapest?

upidstay
04-14-2009, 03:10 PM
Price of fertilizer raw materials have gone waaaay up in the last few years, especially last year. China, S America, and India have driven demand up over 30% in the last 2 years. Oil and natural gas are also a part of it. JDL/Lesco is actually the cheapest I;ve seen for good stuff lately. A bag of Scotts is over $50 at the Depot, same coverage/better product at JDL is under $25.

I feel your pain. I remember paying $15 for my favorite fert not very long ago. It's $25 now. Prices on everything have gone up in the last 5 years, not just fert. I found a 7 year old receipt in a box of junk from my favorite resteraunt. A killer dinner for my wife and i was $50. Went out for Valentines to the same place this year and basdically the same meal was almost $100.

causalitist
04-14-2009, 04:36 PM
it is because lesco goes through much fert, that they absolutely HAVE to have a massive stockpile.. stuff thats bagged, stuff thats being bagged, stuff thats waiting to be bagged... stuff at the stores etc..

add it all together and you have a massive delay is the trickle down of pricing.

thats my GUESS

Wizz
04-14-2009, 05:42 PM
Just shop around for the cheapest source by calling around/web searching and stock-up...absolutely no need for dealer loyalty in this situation. One of my favorite things about the internet is that it makes price shopping 10 times easier depending on the product, if someone is charging a lot...there is usually some place on the web charging almost half as much, and it saves you the drive. I've resorted to going to the box stores for fert...they have pretty good deals compared to distributers these days.

Ric
04-14-2009, 05:59 PM
it is because lesco goes through much fert, that they absolutely HAVE to have a massive stockpile.. stuff thats bagged, stuff thats being bagged, stuff thats waiting to be bagged... stuff at the stores etc..

add it all together and you have a massive delay is the trickle down of pricing.

thats my GUESS

causalitist

Lesco sold their fertilizer plants a while back before going belly up and selling to JDL. They aren't much more than a retail-wholesale store now. However Turf Solution who bought the lesco plant in my area still bag the same fert and sells it to Lesco in their bags. BTW Turf Solutions in Sebring Fla. bags the same fert and sells it to UAP in UAP bags. I am not sure about the Martin's Ferry, Ohio Plant that Lesco also sold.

No I no longer like to bad mouth Lesco. I am in fact buying some items regulator from Lesco now. My Current Lesco Guys are treating me better than expected.

upidstay
04-15-2009, 09:42 AM
Was going iover some old financial records yesterday. My old apartment, lived there 10 years ago. Paid $600 a month for a two bed room, nothing included. At the time, that was a fair price for the area. The landlord is now getting $1100 month for the same place, still nothing included. Same crappy neighborhood. Ahh, progress is a beautiful thing!!!