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View Full Version : You better get on it boys, fert is going up fast!


rcreech
10-15-2010, 10:40 AM
Are we going to see another repeat from 2008?
Are fert prices going to go up?


I ordered all my pre-emergent 3 months a ago (thank goodness) and just ordered 60 ton of my regular fert to cover me for the 2011 season.

Better get on it is all I can say. Probably looking at a $4-5 increase per bag. That is $3000 to 4000 per load boys!

You can borry money A LOT cheaper then that!

Get your pencils out as this is a great way to save money, get/stay competitive and take advantage of those that are sitting on their hands!!!!

Ric
10-15-2010, 10:58 AM
RC

2008 was actually very good to me. My margin is high enough I could eat the increased costs while my competitors couldn't. Truly Nolen my biggest local company with the largest Market share cut cost by reducing fertilizer applications. By the end of Rainy Season and Yankee Snow Birds come back day, Their lawns looked washed out. My lawns stayed green because I didn't back off. What I lost in margin I gained in walk up accounts. True I was happy to see prices drop again because I was just about ready to raise prices.

azjojo99
10-15-2010, 05:15 PM
I saw a JDL early order program today, buy and take delivery by 12/31 and get 10% off, other terms for delivery next year.

Make me want to get my prepay letters out in the mail.

rcreech
10-15-2010, 06:52 PM
I saw a JDL early order program today, buy and take delivery by 12/31 and get 10% off, other terms for delivery next year.

Make me want to get my prepay letters out in the mail.

I don't see how one can send out prepay's or even give an estimate if they don't have their 2011 inputs locked in.

One needs to know their costs before they can know what to charge and make a profit.

If you tell the customer a price and inputs go up 20+%...what it left it yours!

Just a little FYI

olive123
10-15-2010, 07:26 PM
i dont know about high prices we just got our coop bids in and the prices on fert is lower that its been in 3 years.

rcreech
10-15-2010, 07:48 PM
i dont know about high prices we just got our coop bids in and the prices on fert is lower that its been in 3 years.

You better do some QC checks. Something doesn't sound right there at all!

It is no secret to anyone (look at the urea market) that N has gone up like crazy.

I bought a load of 28 back in June at $180 a ton and today it is $313.

Prices have not jumped like crazy yet but I paid $2 more per bag then I could have if I would have bought it back in spring.

americanlawn
10-15-2010, 07:49 PM
Hi rcreech -- I just emailed you via your verizon email address. Please let me know what you think. Thanks, americnlawn

olive123
10-15-2010, 08:08 PM
my prices are set until the end of 2011. I just ordered 13-3-13 for .267 a lb from
JDL. 24-5-11 for .279

rcreech
10-15-2010, 08:40 PM
my prices are set until the end of 2011. I just ordered 13-3-13 for .267 a lb from
JDL. 24-5-11 for .279

Those prices are not bad.

What amount of SCU?

CHARLES CUE
10-15-2010, 09:38 PM
You post the same thing every year. To let us know you can buy a hole bunch at a time. I didnt have any problem in 08. know one can predict what the fert prices are going to be. It's like gas prices up than down.

Well how did the crab grass thing come out. did you spray a lot of yards. Are you going to change your crabgrass pre app next year.

Charles Cue

azjojo99
10-15-2010, 09:44 PM
I don't see how one can send out prepay's or even give an estimate if they don't have their 2011 inputs locked in.

One needs to know their costs before they can know what to charge and make a profit.

If you tell the customer a price and inputs go up 20+%...what it left it yours!

Just a little FYI

Agree 100%, just don't have enough cash or credit on hand to pay for a years worth of fert without at least some of the prepay money coming in.

Plus it is so much easier just to go out to the shed all year to load the trucks, buying fert as I use it is a real waste of time. It always makes me laugh when I drive past the local JDL in the summer and see a line of trucks waiting for them to open up so they can get their days worth of fert.

grassman177
10-15-2010, 10:07 PM
i always pre order and lock in prices in fall for next season. we dont have to start paying on it till late spring either. prety cool, i dont have to wharehouse it and get it when i want with locked in early pricing. i just orderin and stock basically a round at a time right now. when we are done we order the next round in. well, that is getting pretty tough to do anymore as i require quite a darn few pallets to last a round of apps. we are going to be doing something to resolve the "growing problem" prob in 2011 if we clear ourselves of losing customers to the economy. there is an abundance of companies now here that are trying their darndest to outprice us to get work. we have become THE one to compare to or something. a good thing as we dont actually lose more than say 8 customers a year besides the obvious death and moving etc.

ted putnam
10-15-2010, 11:17 PM
Although I do have a nice shop now with quite a bit of space, I don't have enough to store 60 ton of fert. Besides that, I'm not taking out a 35-40k loan to pay for product when I could get T-Boned by a semi truck next week and killed and my wife is stuck selling a mountain of fert. I guess that's the downfall of being small. Fertilizer markets like all other markets are full of speculators and therefore "speculation". If fert prices get to out of hand then you raise prices to cover the increase. It's not that difficult when you aren't locked in by a written contract with the customer.
I think there is going to be a shake up around here next year anyway. We've gone for 35 days without a drop of rain and over 60 days with less than a half inch of precipitation. Most lawns, no matter who treats them, look like shite right now. Drought damage/winter kill will be rampant next spring and there are many who just won't "understand" and will blame their current lawn care provider no matter how well you explain.
I'll just keep buying fert a ton or 3 at a time like I have been and roll with the punches as I always have. I haven't gone out of business yet...

grassman177
10-16-2010, 12:44 AM
yeah, that is alot of fert to have to sit there and take up space. we only get about 15 pallets in at one time max, and that is really crowding it up.

a dry fall is horrible, especially after such a great start for us after such a brutal summer. we are drying up again but at least got 1 inch the other day over the course of the day. not only does grass go dormant or even die at that point, weeds are impossible to kill without uptake

rcreech
10-16-2010, 01:45 PM
yeah, that is alot of fert to have to sit there and take up space. we only get about 15 pallets in at one time max, and that is really crowding it up.

a dry fall is horrible, especially after such a great start for us after such a brutal summer. we are drying up again but at least got 1 inch the other day over the course of the day. not only does grass go dormant or even die at that point, weeds are impossible to kill without uptake

It is a lot of fert to have but I get a very good price buying a larger volume and I need it anyway so why not lock in my input costs.

Look at it this way...If you guys can raise your prices in season why not purchase ahead and still raise your prices. That is even better as you can take advantage of the increase in market price.

I would rather protect upside risk and that is my strategy. If fert truely goes up 15-20% as expected...I will save about $20,000 on my 2011 fert I have in storage.

If it doesn't go up at all I am only out a couple % due to interest for a product that I am going to be using anyway.

Grandpa always said to work smarter not harder.

As an investor and wanting to get a compeititve advantage I would like to see prices go up after my purchase. That may sound bad but isn't that how investments work.

I am playing the fert market and to me it is a very low risk move with the information we have.

I think it would be smart for everyone to buy but that is my opoinion.

Just offering my advice as it has worked in the past to protect margins.

ted putnam
10-16-2010, 02:53 PM
It is a lot of fert to have but I get a very good price buying a larger volume and I need it anyway so why not lock in my input costs.

Look at it this way...If you guys can raise your prices in season why not purchase ahead and still raise your prices. That is even better as you can take advantage of the increase in market price.

I would rather protect upside risk and that is my strategy. If fert truely goes up 15-20% as expected...I will save about $20,000 on my 2011 fert I have in storage.

If it doesn't go up at all I am only out a couple % due to interest for a product that I am going to be using anyway.

Grandpa always said to work smarter not harder.

As an investor and wanting to get a compeititve advantage I would like to see prices go up after my purchase. That may sound bad but isn't that how investments work.

I am playing the fert market and to me it is a very low risk move with the information we have.

I think it would be smart for everyone to buy but that is my opoinion.

Just offering my advice as it has worked in the past to protect margins.

Rod, it's awesome advice when all variables are in place. For me they just aren't. For me it's better to put my efforts into increased sales(at higher price if necessary) and new equipment to apply that "overpriced" fert:laugh: At least for now, that's the strategy I have to use.

grassman177
10-16-2010, 06:29 PM
sure thing rod of course i can relate and understand, that is why we are pre ordering very soon so we will take full advatage of the pricing, but not have to store it. best of both worlds to me

Ric
10-16-2010, 06:49 PM
Rod, it's awesome advice when all variables are in place. For me they just aren't. For me it's better to put my efforts into increased sales(at higher price if necessary) and new equipment to apply that "overpriced" fert:laugh: At least for now, that's the strategy I have to use.

Ted

My first experience with my investment club was an eye opener. We were looking at buying a business that was going under because THEIR RENT WAS RAISED. One of my partners said we sure didn't want to buy a business that was so poor a simple thing like raising the rent would put it out of business. We passed on that one. But the point is Fertilizer is like the rent and a cost increase shouldn't hurt that bad. If you sold you work right it shouldn't hurt you.

Looking on the Bright side, The Big Boys work on volume at a low margin. Their overhead is high and this raise will hurt them a lot more than it hurts the small guy. In 2008 we saw all the Big Boys drop Product and quality rather than raise prices. So take advantage and make this work for you.

grassman177
10-16-2010, 09:39 PM
well put Ric, well put indeed

meets1
10-16-2010, 11:11 PM
That is alot of fert. How many accounts do you have and how many steps are offered thru the year.

ted putnam
10-16-2010, 11:53 PM
Yes Ric, well put. Actually, I have enough breathing room built into my pricing that I can absorb a fair amount of increase in input costs and still have no problem paying the bills much less feel the need to increase prices on current customers after the season has begun.I try never to run the numbers that close. For the most part, the "poop" would really have to hit the fan for me to feel that need.
I wasn't tryng to complain in my previous posts. And nothing is wrong here at home by any stretch. I have arranged for my family to be well taken care of in case of my untimely demise. My point was, I don't see the need for a barn full of "2nd mortgage" and my wife sure as hell doesn't need to be worried with it if I'm not around. I was merely pointing out that while Rod's strategy to control costs by pre-ordering can save and even possibly make extra money, there are other strategies that can achieve similar numbers.

Ric
10-17-2010, 10:37 AM
Yes Ric, well put. Actually, I have enough breathing room built into my pricing that I can absorb a fair amount of increase in input costs and still have no problem paying the bills much less feel the need to increase prices on current customers after the season has begun.I try never to run the numbers that close. For the most part, the "poop" would really have to hit the fan for me to feel that need.
I wasn't tryng to complain in my previous posts. And nothing is wrong here at home by any stretch. I have arranged for my family to be well taken care of in case of my untimely demise. My point was, I don't see the need for a barn full of "2nd mortgage" and my wife sure as hell doesn't need to be worried with it if I'm not around. I was merely pointing out that while Rod's strategy to control costs by pre-ordering can save and even possibly make extra money, there are other strategies that can achieve similar numbers.

Ted

Pre ordering can be effective IF the TERMS are in your favor. However cash flow and present value of the dollar must factor in. What I am saying is WHERE IS YOUR MONEY BEST WORKING?? Or in some cases what is the Value of Borrowed Money?? One of the Rockefellers once told me we all have a budget to live with in. I told them yes, But I would rather have their budget than mine.

It is like the Farmer trying to decide if he will plant Corn or Beans next season. Which one is going to be more profitable? Which one is going to Drain cash flow quicker?? Should he barrow from his IRA or Investments to try and save some expense. Or add to those investments and not pre pay

rcreech
10-17-2010, 02:35 PM
That is alot of fert. How many accounts do you have and how many steps are offered thru the year.

650 clients
4 apps and some get 5
Avg red lawn is 30k and we do a lot of commercial and sports turf

Guys
I agree with u
By no means am I saying one has to do this to stay in business

Ric

I am glad you mentioned farmers and prepaying inputs because all I am doing is applying it to turf
It is almost always best to lock in and prepay
So if I can save up to 20 grand how is that a bad move?

I am just saying buy if you can

If u can adsorb a 20% increase good for u but I will put it in my pocket and reduce risk all day long when possible.
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RABBITMAN11
10-17-2010, 03:46 PM
650 clients
4 apps and some get 5
Avg red lawn is 30k and we do a lot of commercial and sports turf

Guys
I agree with u
By no means am I saying one has to do this to stay in business

Ric

I am glad you mentioned farmers and prepaying inputs because all I am doing is applying it to turf
It is almost always best to lock in and prepay
So if I can save up to 20 grand how is that a bad move?

I am just saying buy if you can

If u can adsorb a 20% increase good for u but I will put it in my pocket and reduce risk all day long when possible.
Posted via Mobile Device

Hey creech give me a call!

Ric
10-17-2010, 05:42 PM
650 clients
4 apps and some get 5
Avg red lawn is 30k and we do a lot of commercial and sports turf

Guys
I agree with u
By no means am I saying one has to do this to stay in business

Ric

I am glad you mentioned farmers and prepaying inputs because all I am doing is applying it to turf
It is almost always best to lock in and prepay
So if I can save up to 20 grand how is that a bad move?
I am just saying buy if you can

If u can adsorb a 20% increase good for u but I will put it in my pocket and reduce risk all day long when possible.
Posted via Mobile Device

RC

I am not bad mouthing you. In fact GOOD FOR YOU for saving 20 grand. What I am saying is it doesn't work in my plans. I just stuck some money in my investment Club which is opening an other Sports Bar to open hopefully first week of November. Sure it is a gamble but so is your prepaying. What is prices go down?? Not that they are. But I feel I can make more money from my investment Club than from prepaying for Fertilizer. My way might not be perfect for you. But Your way is not perfect for me.

I realize you or your Father grows Corn. Unfortunately the American farmer has to have everything invested in his farm and land. However as a small business owner or even an employee of a large corporation, It is not wise to have your eggs in one basket. I made that mistake with my Nursery and Hurricane Charlie said "Gone With The Wind" and it wasn't the Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh version.

MacLawnCo
10-17-2010, 06:21 PM
math is great!

if your cost of materials is 20% of gross and they raise 20%, then it costs you 4% on the bottom line. Change the ratios and get a different effect. 4% is surely not going to put me out of business, even alter my pricing, or going to get me to tie up 30k of my money.

rcreech
10-17-2010, 06:52 PM
math is great!

if your cost of materials is 20% of gross and they raise 20%, then it costs you 4% on the bottom line. Change the ratios and get a different effect. 4% is surely not going to put me out of business, even alter my pricing, or going to get me to tie up 30k of my money.

Math is great...but no matter what % you want to talk about, 20 grand is a REAL number!

For some it may only be 5 grand or 2 grand...but that is real money no matter ur size.

To each his own!
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grassman177
10-17-2010, 07:02 PM
money saved is money earned, how true does that ring in this discussion fellas

RABBITMAN11
10-17-2010, 07:23 PM
money saved is money earned, how true does that ring in this discussion fellas

I agree with Creech.... Its sure is nice to be sitting on your materials knowing you have your prices locked in for the season. Any smart business person plans ahead. If it doesn't mean much to you than maybe your just not buying enough material....Bottom line cash is cash more you save the more you make. As far as raising your prices when the material goes up, why not raise them even though you have your material locked in. Back when fuel went through the roof, Southwest airlines had their fuel locked in. All other airlines got killed Southwest made a profit. Perfect example...

Ric
10-17-2010, 07:33 PM
math is great!

if your cost of materials is 20% of gross and they raise 20%, then it costs you 4% on the bottom line. Change the ratios and get a different effect. 4% is surely not going to put me out of business, even alter my pricing, or going to get me to tie up 30k of my money.

Mac

I would like to think we are on the same page. I am not saying RC is wrong for his business model. What I am saying is I can invest $ 30 K and get a better return than 4% and with the same risk factor. Time is Money and like you I understand the Cash Flow value.

An example of Cash flow value is....We all have Bills to pay and at one time we have all been behind the 8 ball. Most people will pay extra on the Highest Interest or biggest payment loan or bill. I know that a better way is to pay extra on the lowest balance loan or Bill to pay it off first. Then I have less money to pay each month and the cash from the bill I just paid off to apply to the next lowest balance. Sure I end up paying more interest in the long run, but I have a easier time or more disposable income because I pay off more low balance bills. Cash management is more than just Interest percentages.

Going back to my other post about Investing or saving Money in other ventures. It is easy to take money out of savings, But it is Darn hard to put it back.

rcreech
10-17-2010, 10:05 PM
math is great!

if your cost of materials is 20% of gross and they raise 20%, then it costs you 4% on the bottom line. Change the ratios and get a different effect. 4% is surely not going to put me out of business, even alter my pricing, or going to get me to tie up 30k of my money.

For me it wouldn't be a 4% from my bottom line...it would be almost 10%.

If fert goes up $4-5 per unit that is $13 per acre INCREASE. We roughly get between $125-140 per acre depending on the size of the area. If over 15 acres we will work well below that price.

That is mega when working on larger areas and going through as much volume as we do!

It wouldn't put me out of business...but that is a huge hit!

As I said...I didn't start this thread to sway people to do what I do. As Ric stated what works for one may not work for all, but you need to pay attention to input costs.

It is all about staying viable and competitive and if you fall asleep and don't pay attention the the "business basics" you will get left behind!

I would rather "lock in a profit" and protect myself to upside risk then be subject to price increases.

Ric,

I know what you are saying...but what you are doing is much higher risk and we are not comparing apples to apples.
You are truely INVESTING, where I am simple buying inputs that are needed for my business and locking in a price to reduce upside risk.

All I am doing is physically buying vs options on paper in the markets.

EXAMPLE:
If that were the case I could take the 34K I am spending on fert right now and "invest" it and LOSE it and STILL have fertilizer to buy in the spring.

I am not looking to INVEST as much as PROTECT and HOPE that it ends up being a good INVESTMENT.

If not...oh well I will sleep good at night knowing I have it in the barn and have locked in my pricing for 2011.
:)

I have had by Pre bought for 3 months or so now...and it has already gone up a little over $1 a bag. I have already SAVED $1600 on it alone.

That is why I do what I do!

Ric
10-17-2010, 11:34 PM
RC

I am not trying to Bust you. But I will disagree about what you are not calling an investment. we might be in a service industry but we still have to stock an INVENTORY of products which is in fact an investment in our own Business. It is not very Different than investing in stock which we might not have direct control. Any time you invest you take a chance of losing that investment. In the case of Fertilizer a act of god like a Hurricane (like the one that wiped me out) can in fact ruin all of it. What if the Economy goes completely Belly up and you lose a big percentage of customers? What if you get sick and can't work?? What If, What If. Can you eat the Fertilizer now?? Can you trade it for food??

I understand your numbers says you get a better ROI from Fertilizer than some other investment. My Numbers say I get a better ROI from buying stock in my investment Club. I know I will be paying more for Fertilizer next Spring. But I elected to not pre paid at a lower price because the PRESENT VALUE of my Dollar is more important than the Future Value You are Buying Now.

grassman177
10-17-2010, 11:35 PM
I agree with Creech.... Its sure is nice to be sitting on your materials knowing you have your prices locked in for the season. Any smart business person plans ahead. If it doesn't mean much to you than maybe your just not buying enough material....Bottom line cash is cash more you save the more you make. As far as raising your prices when the material goes up, why not raise them even though you have your material locked in. Back when fuel went through the roof, Southwest airlines had their fuel locked in. All other airlines got killed Southwest made a profit. Perfect example...

i do think you quoted the wrong guy there rabbit?!?!?! this does not pertain to my comments as you quoted

rcreech
10-18-2010, 07:58 AM
RC

I am not trying to Bust you. But I will disagree about what you are not calling an investment. we might be in a service industry but we still have to stock an INVENTORY of products which is in fact an investment in our own Business. It is not very Different than investing in stock which we might not have direct control. Any time you invest you take a chance of losing that investment.

I agree with what you are saying Rick, but we have two different goals!

My point is...what I am doing is low risk and calculated. I am PROTECTING myself against the market. Yes it is technically an investment.


What you are doing is calculated but is truely an investment and is much higher risk. You are not protecting yourself and trying to turn a profit (which is my hopes but not a big deal).

I won't lose any of my investment (fertilizer)...where stocks and investments you can lose it all!

Not sure how it got to this point, but good discussion.

RABBITMAN11
10-18-2010, 08:09 AM
Sorry about that grassman.
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meets1
10-18-2010, 10:02 AM
My fert people told me this morning that my prices have not changed all summer and holding yet this fall. They dont no about increase yet. Although they told me buy roundup - $10 a gallon right now. Farmers here are buying mini bulks left and right - I paid $22 this summer. I may purchase a few gallons.

rcreech
10-18-2010, 10:59 AM
My fert people told me this morning that my prices have not changed all summer and holding yet this fall. They dont no about increase yet. Although they told me buy roundup - $10 a gallon right now. Farmers here are buying mini bulks left and right - I paid $22 this summer. I may purchase a few gallons.

Generic gly right now is $8 a gallon but with all the rebates Powermax and Weathermax is cheaper if u compare use rates

I wouldn't b n any hurry on Gly right now as it is get n to b a competitive market

Tell ur supplier to look at the urea market!
:)
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Ric
10-18-2010, 11:32 AM
I agree with what you are saying Rick, but we have two different goals!

My point is...what I am doing is low risk and calculated. I am PROTECTING myself against the market. Yes it is technically an investment.


What you are doing is calculated but is truely an investment and is much higher risk. You are not protecting yourself and trying to turn a profit (which is my hopes but not a big deal).

I won't lose any of my investment (fertilizer)...where stocks and investments you can lose it all!

Not sure how it got to this point, but good discussion.

RC

This will be my last post here because, we will just have to agree to Disagree.

Quick Lesson in Economics. Fertilizer is a Commodity. Commodities Trade on the open market. Speculators invest in Commodities with expectation of making money due to Price Fluctuation. So How is your purchasing a years worth of Fertilizer differ from a Hedge Fund Operator???

BTW Just like all Commodities Fertilizer Price can go down as well as up. Fertilizer also has a Shelve life because it is Hygroscopic. Even have a Rock Hard bag of Fertilizer.

rcreech
10-18-2010, 12:50 PM
RC

This will be my last post here because, we will just have to agree to Disagree.

Quick Lesson in Economics. Fertilizer is a Commodity. Commodities Trade on the open market. Speculators invest in Commodities with expectation of making money due to Price Fluctuation. So How is your purchasing a years worth of Fertilizer differ from a Hedge Fund Operator???

BTW Just like all Commodities Fertilizer Price can go down as well as up. Fertilizer also has a Shelve life because it is Hygroscopic. Even have a Rock Hard bag of Fertilizer.

Ric,

As always I respect your opinion and view.

I don't think we are disagreeing at all. We are just looking at it diffrently.

Also not to mention the tax avenues that buying ahead can do for you. This year I will have almost 1.5 years of fert bought. That sure helps out with Uncle Sam and the Ex Wife. :laugh:

We are just trying to accomplish two different things. Both involve financial decisions.

As I stated earlier I don't really care if the price of fert does go down I really do but you know what I mean)...but with all indicatinos and the talk I just don't want to ride the roller coaster up.

As far as shelf life...I have done this for 4 years and never any issues at all. All my fert contains 50% SCU and also the Lesco bags are the best! We don't even see any minor clumping.

It all comes down to product quality when it comes to storage. Good SCU and no fines = great storage.

This is what my warehouse looked like in May (over 100 ton total as I had another partial load in another barn) and it has since been emptied and I already have my 2011 Pre in there and ready for the rest of my 2011 fert.

It has worked well for too long and I saved BIG money in 2008 and think I may again this year.

Thanks man and good luck with your restruant!

Harley-D
10-18-2010, 01:32 PM
Very impressed with Ric's knowledge of present value vs future value. The only problem is knowing where the market is going. Investments are a little more predictable especially if it is a very diverse portfolio. Fertilizer changes a little too much imo. Risky investment right now especially when changes occur without notice and change by 10-14% at a time. Terms offered by your supplier can throw a whole other issue in there too. A lot of math to determine what's best for each LCO. Good posts!

Service 1st Lawn Care
10-18-2010, 02:06 PM
Ric,

As always I respect your opinion and view.

I don't think we are disagreeing at all. We are just looking at it diffrently.

Also not to mention the tax avenues that buying ahead can do for you. This year I will have almost 1.5 years of fert bought. That sure helps out with Uncle Sam and the Ex Wife. :laugh:

We are just trying to accomplish two different things. Both involve financial decisions.

As I stated earlier I don't really care if the price of fert does go down I really do but you know what I mean)...but with all indicatinos and the talk I just don't want to ride the roller coaster up.

As far as shelf life...I have done this for 4 years and never any issues at all. All my fert contains 50% SCU and also the Lesco bags are the best! We don't even see any minor clumping.

It all comes down to product quality when it comes to storage. Good SCU and no fines = great storage.

This is what my warehouse looked like in May (over 100 ton total as I had another partial load in another barn) and it has since been emptied and I already have my 2011 Pre in there and ready for the rest of my 2011 fert.

It has worked well for too long and I saved BIG money in 2008 and think I may again this year.

Thanks man and good luck with your restruant!

That's an impressive amount of fert. creech I hope you have enough insurance on that fert, in the case of a fire or some other kind of disastrous accident. As far as fertilizer prices our supplier who already have all there raw material for 2011, does not expect any kind rate increase in the relm of 10-15%. They expect prices to pretty much hold steady.

Buck_wheat
10-18-2010, 06:01 PM
Just loaded the boat with 2 tons 16-4-8 slow release, iron & micro nutrients from Helena chem @ $400 a ton. (in 50 lbs bags) did I pay too much?

He's got 24-0-8 @ $480 a ton. Thinking about stocking up on some of that too.

I see here some of you guys put down 40%+ N for the winter, I'm in zone 9, that'll set the grass on fire, just out of curiousity what's the benefit?

grassman177
10-18-2010, 06:14 PM
i dont think so

ted putnam
10-18-2010, 11:33 PM
That's an impressive amount of fert. creech I hope you have enough insurance on that fert, in the case of a fire or some other kind of disastrous accident. As far as fertilizer prices our supplier who already have all there raw material for 2011, does not expect any kind rate increase in the relm of 10-15%. They expect prices to pretty much hold steady.

That's the word I've gotten also and I've been told I may even be able to get it for as much as a couple of $$ a bag cheaper than I have been this year due to the possibility of a supply closer to my location...less freight. It will be interesting to see what happens.

rcreech
10-19-2010, 07:53 AM
I am amazed at the info you guys are getting consistently. It must be an Ohio thing :).

The ag side has gone crazy here...and corn is going up daily. We will see where Urea goes in the next 90 days. I think I am pretty sure where it is going.

28-0-0 has gone up over $100 a ton in just 3 months. That is a 33% increase.

Those are real good signs of large increases along with the info I am getting on the fert side.

I am glad I am sitting on it but we will see. I am a very nervous type person so I am just better off having it so I don't worry to death about it going up.

rcreech
10-19-2010, 07:59 AM
That's an impressive amount of fert. creech I hope you have enough insurance on that fert, in the case of a fire or some other kind of disastrous accident. As far as fertilizer prices our supplier who already have all there raw material for 2011, does not expect any kind rate increase in the relm of 10-15%. They expect prices to pretty much hold steady.

Insurance is cheap and a no brainer!

I have another business also that requires storage and the fert is nothing compared to that. A pallet of Triple Stack corn is valued at $10,000 per pallet (Over $200/bag), and I will have about 55-60 pallets a year in the barn.

Needless to say it has security on it also!
:laugh:

phasthound
10-19-2010, 09:00 AM
I am amazed at the info you guys are getting consistently. It must be an Ohio thing :).

The ag side has gone crazy here...and corn is going up daily. We will see where Urea goes in the next 90 days. I think I am pretty sure where it is going.

28-0-0 has gone up over $100 a ton in just 3 months. That is a 33% increase.

Those are real good signs of large increases along with the info I am getting on the fert side.

I am glad I am sitting on it but we will see. I am a very nervous type person so I am just better off having it so I don't worry to death about it going up.

Like Rodney says, raw materials are up. If you read industry reports, the huge fertilizer conglomerates are very happy about the outlook for 2011. What does that tell you?

It won't affect us as much because pricing on our organic matter bases are pretty stable.

rcreech
10-19-2010, 09:40 AM
Like Rodney says, raw materials are up. If you read industry reports, the huge fertilizer conglomerates are very happy about the outlook for 2011. What does that tell you?

It won't affect us as much because pricing on our organic matter bases are pretty stable.

Barry,

Not to mention the corn market!

People don't realize that agriculture has a big play in the market!

Currently they are using two words that are not good

1) SHORTAGE

2) HIGH PRICES CORN

Those two equal high prices fert.

What do you think Barry...as a fert supplier, am I making a good move or not.

Be honest ;)

Why are all the guys on here hearing from the suppliers that prices are stable. I have not heard that at all.

I just started this post as an FYI and I am not saying I know whats going to happen, just telling the lawnsite community (friends) the indications are currently present for a major increase.

Maybe we can get through this storm, but don't think so.

Good Luck!

RC

roccon31
10-19-2010, 09:44 AM
monthly increases on fert here at the local supply house. the stuff i've been using has gone up 3 bucks a bag in the last 6 months. i would love to buy several pallets, but i have no place to put them!!!

barry, get ahold of me when you get firm pricing for the spring, you have a product available that my customers are very interested in.

ted putnam
10-19-2010, 12:13 PM
Rod, you definitely keep your finger firmly on the pulse of what's going in with fertilizer more than most. Inflation is creeping into our economy so it would not surprise me if there were some increases. At this point all I and many of us can do is hope they are minimal if it happens. I am a worrier by nature also. I've been worried because we haven't had any signifigant rainfall in over 70 days.The lawns are burned up and I have been applying Fall pre-emerg to severely drought stressed lawns.(The lawns aren't the only thing that have been stressed.):laugh: Today it is raining here so right now at least...life is good( or at least better)

rcreech
10-19-2010, 01:12 PM
Rod, you definitely keep your finger firmly on the pulse of what's going in with fertilizer more than most. Inflation is creeping into our economy so it would not surprise me if there were some increases. At this point all I and many of us can do is hope they are minimal if it happens. I am a worrier by nature also. I've been worried because we haven't had any signifigant rainfall in over 70 days.The lawns are burned up and I have been applying Fall pre-emerg to severely drought stressed lawns.(The lawns aren't the only thing that have been stressed.):laugh: Today it is raining here so right now at least...life is good( or at least better)

I hear ya on the weather! We were hit drought worse this year then in 2007. Most lawns have large areas that will have to be reseeded. Lawns here are still dormant and I don't think they will fare well if we have a cold winter as they say with no snow cover.

This fall has been the best seeding year we have ever had and I think next spring will be much better.

Dry weather is bitter sweet for a lawncare company. I want the lawns to look great but when dry weather hits it equals great $$$$$$$$.

Love it either way. :)

How ya been Ted?

Its been a while since we have talked.

ted putnam
10-19-2010, 01:51 PM
For the most part we've been doing pretty good this year(except for this over-extended dry spell)We don't do seeding in warm season turf for the most part so your double edged sword that makes you $$ either way is only a single edged sword for me. I'm not going to lie, the lawns are total ****% here. Normally they go dormant around the first to second week of Nov due to frost. They have been dormant for the past 3-4 weeks from drought and temps in the mid 80's to low 90's We have also been 15-20 above normal on temps for the past month. I fear there is no time for recovery now and winter kill from drought will be rampant next Spring. It should make things interesting for sales next year. As you can tell, the drought has been a major worry for me.:laugh:
On a positive note the Z has helped us keep everything ahead of schedule all year(as if there was any doubt it would):clapping:. We should finish up the middle of the second week of Dec and cruise into Christmas according to my forecasts.
You staying out of trouble?:laugh: You were absent for awhile.Good to see ya post again lately.

rcreech
10-19-2010, 06:09 PM
You staying out of trouble?:laugh: You were absent for awhile.Good to see ya post again lately.

Sure am!

I sure missed this site but we were literally so busy I didn't even have a chance to come on here. I have been running around like a crazy man all year. Can't wait until the season is over.

This year although it has had its challenges has been by far our biggest year. I can't believe what is happening in this "bad" economy.

I hope everything ends up well for you with your drought. Even the old timers have never seen a drought last this long into the fall.

I think it will be crazy next spring. All the people that think their lawns will "come back" will then know they are not. :laugh:

So any plans to get another Z? I know we both got ours at about the same time and I love them. We will be getting our 3rd next spring if not before. I may even look at something to replace the PG. Starting to have some trouble with it. Any thoughts on what I can get Larry? :)

mdlwn1
10-19-2010, 07:08 PM
Barry,

Not to mention the corn market!

People don't realize that agriculture has a big play in the market!

Currently they are using two words that are not good

1) SHORTAGE

2) HIGH PRICES CORN

Those two equal high prices fert.

What do you think Barry...as a fert supplier, am I making a good move or not.

Be honest ;)

Why are all the guys on here hearing from the suppliers that prices are stable. I have not heard that at all.

I just started this post as an FYI and I am not saying I know whats going to happen, just telling the lawnsite community (friends) the indications are currently present for a major increase.

Maybe we can get through this storm, but don't think so.

Good Luck!

RC

Prices have been stable because product for manufacture was purchased PRIOR to the recent run up/decrease in the US dollar. For the moment it's pretty much tied to the dollar index (value of the us dollar). Shipping rates are still super low..with no forecast for major increases. The dollar took a 7% haircut recently but reversed pretty hard recently. Raw material costs have to STAY high as well as transportation costs. Like one of the original responders wrote....saving 3-4k per load is a lot of money.....but not compared to other operating parts of a business that big.....

phasthound
10-19-2010, 08:12 PM
Here is a small part of my opinion on fert pricing;

Folks, it's about global demand for food. Lawn care plays no part in pricing.
Global population has grown from 2.6 to 6.8 Billion in my lifetime. Many of the billions of people living in what we used to call the "3rd World" are now improving their economies and are demanding foods that the western world has been eating. Growing these foods require much higher inputs than their traditional food sources. This creates larger demand on resources that are becoming more expensive to produce, manipulate and transport.

sedge
10-19-2010, 08:15 PM
Here is a small part of my opinion on fert pricing;

Folks, it's about global demand for food. Lawn care plays no part in pricing.
Global population has grown from 2.6 to 6.8 Billion in my lifetime. Many of the billions of people living in what we used to call the "3rd World" are now improving their economies and are demanding foods that the western world has been eating. Growing these foods require much higher inputs than their traditional food sources. This creates larger demand on resources that are becoming more expensive to produce, manipulate and transport.

Ummmmm, errrrrr, that and it is petroleum based......

CHARLES CUE
10-19-2010, 08:45 PM
Here is a small part of my opinion on fert pricing;

Folks, it's about global demand for food. Lawn care plays no part in pricing.
Global population has grown from 2.6 to 6.8 Billion in my lifetime. Many of the billions of people living in what we used to call the "3rd World" are now improving their economies and are demanding foods that the western world has been eating. Growing these foods require much higher inputs than their traditional food sources. This creates larger demand on resources that are becoming more expensive to produce, manipulate and transport.

Barry i think most of know that we play a small part in the fert industry's and the demand on pricing.

But the idea to buy before the price goes up. So how is the cost of your fert going to be next spring compared to now.I know that your fert has less synthetic and more chicken poo. But in will change a little.If the price of fert goes up.

Charles Cue

phasthound
10-19-2010, 09:39 PM
Ummmmm, errrrrr, that and it is petroleum based......

Urea is produced with natural gas, phosphorus and potash are mined.
More than 50% of these products are imported to the USA. Yes, petroleum plays a part in the cost of production and transportation. But it is about supply and demand in producing food globally. It's not as simple as the price of petrol.

americanlawn
10-19-2010, 09:45 PM
Hi RC -- To this day, the T3000 is the fastest on the move, most maneuverable, most profitable, most stable on slopes, most used, most accurate ride-on sprayer/spreader we have ever seen or used. Currently, there are over 20 of them in our market. Several LCO's swapped out their Z's & PG's for T's, and they "ain't lookin' back". I admit that we tweaked the speed up a bit with our T's, but we run them everyday of the week....most "other units" are used when LCO's run out of work, such as mowing, planting flowers, cleaning gutters, etc. The T3000 units are a true "work horse", and they NEVER let us down. I don't care if you're pulling a trailer or whatever...doesn't matter. Gas 'em up in the morning, and you're good for the whole day. Need parts?.........We get 'em within 24 hours.

When the T3000 was first introduced, I received alot of flack by boasting about it, cuz most guys were unfamiliar with it. Didn't mean to offend anybody. Merely comparing.

:usflag::canadaflag:
ingSure am!

I sure missed this site but we were literally so busy I didn't even have a chance to come on here. I have been running around like a crazy man all year. Can't wait until the season is over.

This year although it has had its challenges has been by far our biggest year. I can't believe what is happening in this "bad" economy.

I hope everything ends up well for you with your drought. Even the old timers have never seen a drought last this long into the fall.

I think it will be crazy next spring. All the people that think their lawns will "come back" will then know they are not. :laugh:

So any plans to get another Z? I know we both got ours at about the same time and I love them. We will be getting our 3rd next spring if not before. I may even look at something to replace the PG. Starting to have some trouble with it. Any thoughts on what I can get Larry? :)

phasthound
10-19-2010, 09:46 PM
Barry i think most of know that we play a small part in the fert industry's and the demand on pricing.

But the idea to buy before the price goes up. So how is the cost of your fert going to be next spring compared to now.I know that your fert has less synthetic and more chicken poo. But in will change a little.If the price of fert goes up.

Charles Cue

Charles, the price of raw material is already up and shortages are predicted. If you can buy now from existing stock, I think you will come out a head.

I can't predict future prices. I can tell you that in 2008 synthetic fert prices rose to $30.00 per bag, while Nutrients PLUS best selling product based on organic matter plus small amounts of traditional NPK sources added only reached a high of $16.85 a bag.

phasthound
10-19-2010, 09:53 PM
What do you think Barry...as a fert supplier, am I making a good move or not.

Be honest ;)



Rodney,
I think you made a good move.
If you had bought from me, I'd think you were brilliant!! :)
BTW, I get paid by % so when prices go up, I make more.
I am in the process of telling my existing clients to buy now if they have the money & the storage.

humble1
10-19-2010, 09:55 PM
The only problem is that just as prices can go up fast they can drop fast as well, if you buy a bunch now the market could still drop, you could lock in for next year on early order and the prices could drop out by then, look at the NYSE hovering in the 10-11,000 range totally unsupported level, where unemployment is 10% people are losing their houses, record levels on food stamps, come Jan when the bush tax cuts expire capital gains on stocks are going way up. What will happen is a lot of people will dump stocks Nov into Dec so they can pay gains in 2010 at a lower rate, dumping stocks will cause prices to drop, when the stock market as a whole a lot of things will drop. However some people will speculate that a drop in the market could cause commodities to raise up, so some people maybe speculating that oil will go up, causing fert to go way up as well. Personally I might buy some stuff now, I can store 18 tons on my pallet racks. I might wait until after the Election and see what way the market is moving.

phasthound
10-19-2010, 10:19 PM
The only problem is that just as prices can go up fast they can drop fast as well, if you buy a bunch now the market could still drop, you could lock in for next year on early order and the prices could drop out by then, look at the NYSE hovering in the 10-11,000 range totally unsupported level, where unemployment is 10% people are losing their houses, record levels on food stamps, come Jan when the bush tax cuts expire capital gains on stocks are going way up. What will happen is a lot of people will dump stocks Nov into Dec so they can pay gains in 2010 at a lower rate, dumping stocks will cause prices to drop, when the stock market as a whole a lot of things will drop. However some people will speculate that a drop in the market could cause commodities to raise up, so some people maybe speculating that oil will go up, causing fert to go way up as well. Personally I might buy some stuff now, I can store 18 tons on my pallet racks. I might wait until after the Election and see what way the market is moving.

I'll give you that. The bottom could drop out of the world economy, it's no longer about the US stock market. Jeez, trading is done by the millisecond with no concern about long-term goals. And it's much more involved than the election results. The right wing conservatives and the left wing liberals don't have a clue or any answers to our problems.

ted putnam
10-19-2010, 10:40 PM
Hi RC -- To this day, the T3000 is the fastest on the move, most maneuverable, most profitable, most stable on slopes, most used, most accurate ride-on sprayer/spreader we have ever seen or used. Currently, there are over 20 of them in our market. Several LCO's swapped out their Z's & PG's for T's, and they "ain't lookin' back". I admit that we tweaked the speed up a bit with our T's, but we run them everyday of the week....most "other units" are used when LCO's run out of work, such as mowing, planting flowers, cleaning gutters, etc. The T3000 units are a true "work horse", and they NEVER let us down. I don't care if you're pulling a trailer or whatever...doesn't matter. Gas 'em up in the morning, and you're good for the whole day. Need parts?.........We get 'em within 24 hours.

When the T3000 was first introduced, I received alot of flack by boasting about it, cuz most guys were unfamiliar with it. Didn't mean to offend anybody. Merely comparing.

:usflag::canadaflag:
ing

Geez Larry, You must have a screw loose or something. RC just made a couple of friendly comments directed toward me. We talked on the phone a few times in the past and it's been awhile and for some reason you thought someone flipped the switch on your propaganda machine....

RABBITMAN11
10-20-2010, 06:48 AM
Geez Larry, You must have a screw loose or something. RC just made a couple of friendly comments directed toward me. We talked on the phone a few times in the past and it's been awhile and for some reason you thought someone flipped the switch on your propaganda machine....

Lol:hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::clapping::clapping:: clapping::clapping::usflag::usflag::usflag::dancing::dancing::dancing::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::laugh::l augh::laugh::laugh::drinkup::drinkup::drinkup:

rcreech
10-20-2010, 08:01 AM
The only problem is that just as prices can go up fast they can drop fast as well, if you buy a bunch now the market could still drop, you could lock in for next year on early order and the prices could drop out .

That is why it has to be somewhat calculated. Plus as I stated previously, I have to buy this much anyway so why not LOCK IT IN and not worry about it.

Remember the key is...I want to LOCK IT IN, and if the price goes up great. It the price goes down oh well!

rcreech
10-20-2010, 08:09 AM
Rodney,
I think you made a good move.
If you had bought from me, I'd think you were brilliant!! :)
BTW, I get paid by % so when prices go up, I make more.
I am in the process of telling my existing clients to buy now if they have the money & the storage.

Thanks Barry!

I feel like I made a very good decision with the information I have but then come on here and nobody knows about fert increases. I can't believe that these suppliers don't understand and see what is going on! Even if they have their raw materials bough, they will need to replace them!

It makes me feel better since you are in the know as many are all the people I talk to and work with. I was wondering if everyone was playing a joke on me at first as this was feeling like a Saturday Night Live skit.

Thanks for letting me know your thoughts.

Somehow I have developed a great network of friends from both the lawn and ag sectors and it can pay big to "stay in the loop".

I am not sure why or how people can downplay saving up to $3000-4000 per load. If I save just $2500-3000 on 3 loads, I just EARNED a new Z-Spray and technically didn't have to buy it. Think about that! Its bottom line money I didn't have to work for!

If I don't make anything that is fine to as I am covered on price and don't have to worry about in season deliveries and price increases.

We will see I guess.

LOL...maybe some day Barry I can jump ship and try a load or two of your product. It is a mental block for me for some reason. I am so old school when it comes to my favorite 30%N- 50% SCU product. It works like a dream for me and just afraid to switch.

What are the use rates of Scream'n Green again and price? PM me if you want.

phasthound
10-20-2010, 09:24 AM
Rodney,

Current FTL price for Screamin Green 16-2-3 is $12.85 delivered to most of the lower 48 states. Apply at 4 lbs per 1000.

If you're going to the GIE next week, stop by the N+ booth & say hi. I'll be at the booth Thurs AM & Fri PM.

Ric
10-20-2010, 12:12 PM
Barry i think most of know that we play a small part in the fert industry's and the demand on pricing.

But the idea to buy before the price goes up. So how is the cost of your fert going to be next spring compared to now.I know that your fert has less synthetic and more chicken poo. But in will change a little.If the price of fert goes up.

Charles Cue

Charles

Yes Fertilizer is a Commodity and subject to Supply & Demand. However like all commodities, it can be manipulated by out side factors. The best example is the 2008 Olympics. China shut down production on many Chemical Plant for Clean Air and Water during the Olympics. Part of the Fertilizer Price spike was in fact because of the Olympics.

You can't tell me Mosaic doesn't try and control Potash prices by cutting production etc etc. There are just too many factor that can control prices.

rcreech
10-20-2010, 02:25 PM
Rodney,

Current FTL price for Screamin Green 16-2-3 is $12.85 delivered to most of the lower 48 states. Apply at 4 lbs per 1000.

If you're going to the GIE next week, stop by the N+ booth & say hi. I'll be at the booth Thurs AM & Fri PM.

I may come down to the GIE just not sure.

Mentally it is so hard for me to pay almost the same price for a product that has half the N and increase my cost/acre and increase my application rate (which would increase work load and decrease effeciency).

Am I thinking all wrong?

How can I justify the added cost and being less effecient in my little mind?

americanlawn
10-20-2010, 06:45 PM
Timely post RC -- thanks. I just received a price quote from Agrium for "pre + fert" for next spring's app. 18-0-4, .375 Evade, 25% XCU. It's the smaller prill siz that we like for prevention of weeds (190 SGN) instead of standard 220/230 prills. (Evade is the same as Barricade)

We would have to take delivery by December 31 (66 ton) and pay by spring. I'll PM you with the quote.

Service 1st Lawn Care
10-20-2010, 07:00 PM
Larry is that a Signature brand fertilizer?

americanlawn
10-20-2010, 07:17 PM
Yes it is. We buy most of our fert from Agrium & Zimco. Nearly all of the fert we get from these 2 companies is made by E.C. Grow in Eau Claire, WI.

Agrium calls their slow release "XCU", and Zimco calls theirs "PPSCU". To me, they're both identical. Both companies use Spring Valley for shipping.

GO HAWKEYES, cuz they play Wisconson this Saturday.

Larry is that a Signature brand fertilizer?

Service 1st Lawn Care
10-20-2010, 07:36 PM
Yes it is. We buy most of our fert from Agrium & Zimco. Nearly all of the fert we get from these 2 companies is made by E.C. Grow in Eau Claire, WI.

Agrium calls their slow release "XCU", and Zimco calls theirs "PPSCU". To me, they're both identical. Both companies use Spring Valley for shipping.

GO HAWKEYES, cuz they play Wisconson this Saturday.

Thanks, We get our pre-em made from EC Grow thru Van Diest

Service 1st Lawn Care
10-20-2010, 07:39 PM
Larry have you used or your thoughts on Uflexx? I currently use fert with XCU.

pieperlc
10-20-2010, 09:24 PM
Posted via Mobile Device

FdLLawnMan
10-21-2010, 12:49 AM
Larry have you used or your thoughts on Uflexx? I currently use fert with XCU.

I will chirp in here on this one. Two years ago I tried UMAXX & UFLEXX and liked it very much, so much so that I ordered my own blend from Reinders and Spring Valley for 2010. I had it blended at 20% Urea, 20% UFLEXX & 60% UMAXX. It spread great and the color lasted at least 12 weeks for my 3-step customers. Previously I purchased all my fertilizer from Lesco/JDL and was happy with it, but I just like this better. I think this year I am going for a blend of 40% urea, 30% UFLEXX & 30% UMAXX. The cost per M at the 1 lb rate this year was a shade over a $1.00. I have found that I can cut it down to 0.75 lb N per M for the 4 and 5-step customers and have very good results. I also tried 2 pallets of 30-0-0 MESA from Lebanon this year. It was no better than the U products and was really dirty when it got humid. I had to clean my impeller off every two bags. Cost and results are king with me. Barry's product might be very good but at a cost of a $1.60 per M at the 1 lb rate I cannot justify that.
To get this thread back to the original point I have two charge cards with no balance that I can use at no interest until next September. I will cost me $35.00 per transaction for each. I plan on pricing and buying before November is over. I am like Rodney, I like to know my costs before the season starts.

rcreech
10-21-2010, 03:10 PM
To get this thread back to the original point I have two charge cards with no balance that I can use at no interest until next September. I will cost me $35.00 per transaction for each. I plan on pricing and buying before November is over. I am like Rodney, I like to know my costs before the season starts.

What's up Mike?

How are things up North?

That is a sweet card.

I agree! I don't see how guys are operating on here by "selling" a product/service that they haven't even bought yet.

If fert truly goes up $5 a bag that increases their cost drastically and reduces their profit. And people who feel this way say "it won't affect me" or "that is a small increase overall"....you have got to be kidding me! :confused:

I can see a homeowner not caring or a guy that does 15 lawns, but most on here does a lot of volume.

Just surprised that most don't care!

CHARLES CUE
10-21-2010, 08:12 PM
I will chirp in here on this one. Two years ago I tried UMAXX & UFLEXX and liked it very much, so much so that I ordered my own blend from Reinders and Spring Valley for 2010. I had it blended at 20% Urea, 20% UFLEXX & 60% UMAXX. It spread great and the color lasted at least 12 weeks for my 3-step customers. Previously I purchased all my fertilizer from Lesco/JDL and was happy with it, but I just like this better. I think this year I am going for a blend of 40% urea, 30% UFLEXX & 30% UMAXX. The cost per M at the 1 lb rate this year was a shade over a $1.00. I have found that I can cut it down to 0.75 lb N per M for the 4 and 5-step customers and have very good results. I also tried 2 pallets of 30-0-0 MESA from Lebanon this year. It was no better than the U products and was really dirty when it got humid. I had to clean my impeller off every two bags. Cost and results are king with me. Barry's product might be very good but at a cost of a $1.60 per M at the 1 lb rate I cannot justify that.
To get this thread back to the original point I have two charge cards with no balance that I can use at no interest until next September. I will cost me $35.00 per transaction for each. I plan on pricing and buying before November is over. I am like Rodney, I like to know my costs before the season starts.

Mike it's good to see you doing your own blend.

But on another note i ran some 30-0-0 mesa and i have to say that was the cleanest fert i ran this year. and it was humid the hole time i used it just makes you wonder from one bag to another and where it's made at can be so differnt.

Charles Cue

CHARLES CUE
10-21-2010, 08:30 PM
What's up Mike?

How are things up North?

That is a sweet card.

I agree! I don't see how guys are operating on here by "selling" a product/service that they haven't even bought yet.

If fert truly goes up $5 a bag that increases their cost drastically and reduces their profit. And people who feel this way say "it won't affect me" or "that is a small increase overall"....you have got to be kidding me! :confused:

I can see a homeowner not caring or a guy that does 15 lawns, but most on here does a lot of volume.

Just surprised that most don't care!

Maybe it's not they don't care. Some people have different ideas and that don't make them wrong. Or you right.

I will buy some of my fert for next year but not all of it. I know a local guy that has a in-closed trailer and that's it as far as i know. He can't buy to far ahead but that is his choice.If things go good for him he will probably get some more storage.He lives in a house in town and parks he trailer on the side of the road.

Charles Cue

rcreech
10-21-2010, 09:34 PM
Maybe it's not they don't care. Some people have different ideas and that don't make them wrong. Or you right.


Charles Cue

In no way and I trying to say if someone is right or wrong. Infact this is not a right or wrong topic.

I am just saying that many on here are acting like it is stupid to "save" money on inputs.

Read through here and several acts like saving $3-4000 a load isn't no big deal when looking at total sales.

That is bogus to me! If I can save $20 here and there with no effort that is money in the bank!

In no way am I saying what I am doing is right. It is just right for me. I don't care if the product goes down $1 a bag...I know where I stand.

humble1
10-21-2010, 10:21 PM
What's up Mike?

How are things up North?

That is a sweet card.

I agree! I don't see how guys are operating on here by "selling" a product/service that they haven't even bought yet.

If fert truly goes up $5 a bag that increases their cost drastically and reduces their profit. And people who feel this way say "it won't affect me" or "that is a small increase overall"....you have got to be kidding me! :confused:

I can see a homeowner not caring or a guy that does 15 lawns, but most on here does a lot of volume.

Just surprised that most don't care!

I care, but just like when i buy stocks I have to make a calulated choice, I just cant see jumping off a bridge just because everyone else is. I think a lot of things like Ric said can be done quite purposely. A large jump in commodities for no good reason just doesnt make scense. Which is why I think that it could level back off before next spring, not to say I might not store a few more tons up on the wall though.

humble1
10-21-2010, 10:25 PM
In no way and I trying to say if someone is right or wrong. Infact this is not a right or wrong topic.

I am just saying that many on here are acting like it is stupid to "save" money on inputs.

Read through here and several acts like saving $3-4000 a load isn't no big deal when looking at total sales.

That is bogus to me! If I can save $20 here and there with no effort that is money in the bank!

In no way am I saying what I am doing is right. It is just right for me. I don't care if the product goes down $1 a bag...I know where I stand.

I switched from JDL to another company and saved 20% I am all about saving the money, personally I have to make a calculated decision before a trigger pull, plus having two houses, a wife, 2 kids and the dog, plus all the other overhead, I cant prebuy next years product, as far as locking in a price your married to it if the price drops. I like to pay at time of delivery I dont like running a charge account.

FdLLawnMan
10-22-2010, 02:00 AM
Mike it's good to see you doing your own blend.

But on another note i ran some 30-0-0 mesa and i have to say that was the cleanest fert i ran this year. and it was humid the hole time i used it just makes you wonder from one bag to another and where it's made at can be so differnt.

Charles Cue

Charles, I am happy it worked for you. My son who is a superintendent at a golf course uses MESA and loves it. It was so sticky for me in the humidity that it built up on the diffuser on my spyker spreader on my T3000 that it slowed the flow of fertilizer.

ted putnam
10-22-2010, 02:51 AM
I switched from JDL to another company and saved 20% I am all about saving the money, personally I have to make a calculated decision before a trigger pull, plus having two houses, a wife, 2 kids and the dog, plus all the other overhead, I cant prebuy next years product, as far as locking in a price your married to it if the price drops. I like to pay at time of delivery I dont like running a charge account.

I agree. My situation is much the same as yours. Here's some more food for thought. Another twist for others to think of before thinking things are so cut and dry and it goes back to what Ric said about "cash flow". I have a 2006 Chevy 2500. In January I will owe approx $4k. The payment, about $500/month. I have a 2009 Z spray that I will owe about $2500 on. Payment, approx $200/ month. Will I have $6500 in December to pay those off? No. Will I have come January? You bet! It will free up $700/ month for other things. I've got excellent credit. I could borrow the money now to pay it off or buy fertilizer or go to Hawaii if that's what I chose to do. I'm not going to do any of that. I am going to be patient, use prepay money to pay them off in Jan and free up $700/month for other things(new truck, Z-spray, etc...) without taking any other loan out in the meantime. Buying fertilizer right now on credit is not going to free up $700/month and it is not going to make me feel any better if the price of fert goes up a couple bucks per bag. I'll still feel the need to increase prices to cover it. Being in business sometimes requires thinking "outside the box". It's not always 4 square corners and there are other angles to consider. Nobody has a crystal ball to see the future. I sure don't but I do know how things are currently for me and feel the decision not to buy fert now is best for me and my business.
Good Luck to all.

rcreech
10-22-2010, 08:04 AM
I agree. My situation is much the same as yours. Here's some more food for thought. Another twist for others to think of before thinking things are so cut and dry and it goes back to what Ric said about "cash flow". I have a 2006 Chevy 2500. In January I will owe approx $4k. The payment, about $500/month. I have a 2009 Z spray that I will owe about $2500 on. Payment, approx $200/ month. Will I have $6500 in December to pay those off? No. Will I have come January? You bet! It will free up $700/ month for other things. I've got excellent credit. I could borrow the money now to pay it off or buy fertilizer or go to Hawaii if that's what I chose to do. I'm not going to do any of that. I am going to be patient, use prepay money to pay them off in Jan and free up $700/month for other things(new truck, Z-spray, etc...) without taking any other loan out in the meantime. Buying fertilizer right now on credit is not going to free up $700/month and it is not going to make me feel any better if the price of fert goes up a couple bucks per bag. I'll still feel the need to increase prices to cover it. Being in business sometimes requires thinking "outside the box". It's not always 4 square corners and there are other angles to consider. Nobody has a crystal ball to see the future. I sure don't but I do know how things are currently for me and feel the decision not to buy fert now is best for me and my business.
Good Luck to all.

Ted,

I totally appreciate and respect that!

Again I am not saying that everyone should or can buy now.

Some on here just act like saving 4 grand is nothing. IF that is the case they have too much money and probably don't even need to be working.

Here is my thinking (pretty simple in my mind).

If you have to borrow the money at 5%...and only have the money borrowed for 3 months, that is .14/bag.

If you hear it is going to go up between $3-5 a bag, that is a great business move for upside protection.

If prices don't go up or stay the same you are not out much at all.

I agree that people need to think outside the box, and that is what I do!

Obviously what I am doing isn't normal on here so what is thinking outside the box?

All I can say is it has done me well thus far and think it will continue to for another season by what everyone in the fert industry is saying.

Who knows!

Again not saying my way is the only way...but if prices go up I will be ok. If they don't I need the product anyway.
:)

RABBITMAN11
10-22-2010, 08:29 AM
Ted,

I totally appreciate and respect that!

Again I am not saying that everyone should or can buy now.

Some on here just act like saving 4 grand is nothing. IF that is the case they have too much money and probably don't even need to be working.

Here is my thinking (pretty simple in my mind).

If you have to borrow the money at 5%...and only have the money borrowed for 3 months, that is .14/bag.

If you hear it is going to go up between $3-5 a bag, that is a great business move for upside protection.

If prices don't go up or stay the same you are not out much at all.

I agree that people need to think outside the box, and that is what I do!

Obviously what I am doing isn't normal on here so what is thinking outside the box?

All I can say is it has done me well thus far and think it will continue to for another season by what everyone in the fert industry is saying.

Who knows!

Again not saying my way is the only way...but if prices go up I will be ok. If they don't I need the product anyway.
:)

I totally agree Rod. To be a successful, you really should/(must) try and put yourself in the postion to be able to control your costs. Most businesses that deal with fluctuating material buy ahead or look ahead to curve the material pricing. Not to mention from a stand point of having your product you don't have to pick it up. Also knowing exactly where you are in the beginning of the year should be a must for prepays.

jasontimm
10-22-2010, 10:07 AM
Both sides have great points, and it really comes down to cash on hand, or availible credit. Buying now is nice because you can set your budget, and prices for next year that you can live with, and make the profits necessary to make a good living, so if you buy now, and lock in your expenses does it matter if the price drops? maybe because you could have made more money, but does it matter if you already have a sound budget? Planning ahead is always good, especially when it comes to sound finicials with a business. Will urea keep going up? Who knows, but my guess is yes it will. Corn prices are around $6.00 dollars a Bu. farmers are smiling (as they should) but after living on a farm my entire life i have learned that everyone wants a piece of the pie, next year you will see a large increase in crop inputs, including urea, why you ask, answer being simple...because they CAN. Chemical companies see the Ag business as being profitable this year so they know they can raise their prices and nothing can be done about it. I strongly feel the Ag. sector plays a large role in the price we pay for you inputs. Just my thought.

rcreech
10-22-2010, 01:44 PM
Both sides have great points, and it really comes down to cash on hand, or availible credit. Buying now is nice because you can set your budget, and prices for next year that you can live with, and make the profits necessary to make a good living, so if you buy now, and lock in your expenses does it matter if the price drops? maybe because you could have made more money, but does it matter if you already have a sound budget? Planning ahead is always good, especially when it comes to sound finicials with a business. Will urea keep going up? Who knows, but my guess is yes it will. Corn prices are around $6.00 dollars a Bu. farmers are smiling (as they should) but after living on a farm my entire life i have learned that everyone wants a piece of the pie, next year you will see a large increase in crop inputs, including urea, why you ask, answer being simple...because they CAN. Chemical companies see the Ag business as being profitable this year so they know they can raise their prices and nothing can be done about it. I strongly feel the Ag. sector plays a large role in the price we pay for you inputs. Just my thought.

Excellent post!

And actually this thread had started some awesome discussions! What started as fert price increase post turned into a buying decisions post and why or why not. Some great points on both sides for sure! You just have to pick the one that suites your business/finances best.

Jasontimm,

I think a light just came on in my head when I read your post.

We were probably raised similarly on a farm and buying habits can be determined when we are younger from our parents/raising.

I farm with my Dad and it is nothing for me to buy ahead. I don't even think about it because that is all I do. But the reason we buy ahead is to lock in a profit and to take all discounts.

When I was 18 years old I was writing $10,000 checks (borrowed money). You just hoped that in the fall your grain check was for more then your inputs and you had something left (or a lot in a good year). :) That is how business's operate.

Very few business's operate on cash alone. You have to borrow money to get ahead! If I didn't borrow money I wouldn't have near what I have today.

I have all my seed, chemicals and fertilizer bought for the farm for 2011 and I will not get a check until Oct to Nov of 2011.

You are exactly right about ag controlling our inputs. The input suppliers in ag are fully aware of what a farmers net is and they keep inputs in check. There are years where we can make more $$$$ with $4 corn then we can with $6 corn. Reason is.....input costs!

I also agree that is comes down to cash flow or credit. But if you go to your banker and let him know what you are doing they will go for it!

You have to spend money to make money! That is all we are doing.

Glad to see that you and I are on the same page.

Harley-D
10-22-2010, 03:27 PM
It is a good thread. I would say that the main point is that it seems to be relative in your case ron. You are all set if you have your customers on a yearly schedule and are not worried about competition with lower pricing halfway through the season. If your customers are happy with the service and the price, no reason not to lock in at the price point that brings about a positive net income. Just leave some wiggle room for the variable expenses we can't plan for. Fuel, wages, equipment repair.

rcreech
10-22-2010, 06:10 PM
Good point Harley D!

You know another point I will bring into this is how much people put back into their business.

I have one friend that owns his own business and he makes great money but runs junk equipment and operates on a shoe string. He takes all the money he makes and buys personal toys and has a very nice home.

I am not knocking him...it just shows us that everyone has differenet priorities.

It blows me away because I think one should take pride in their business and put some money back into it. I put as much into my business's and farm as I physically can.

I would rather re-invest the money in my buisness to look good, do a better job and buy cheaper inputs (which in return makes money) and be more effecient.

Hope I am not opening a can of worms here, but that is just a PERSONAL OPINION that I have.


Sometimes it isn't that people can't...they just don't want to!

CHARLES CUE
10-22-2010, 09:33 PM
What about people that run junk- shoe string every thing- never where great clothes penny pinch every thing and are millionaires and will die unhappy and never spend any of that money i know people like this.

I also put back as much as i can back into my business and to the community.

What if i get a loan for 60 ton of fert at 5% interest and fert never changes price i lost money. And really i don'tlike taking loans out like this. But that's just me I like paying for what i get . But i can see where RC has always played the farming game and that is what he is use to.The return is probably much quicker in lawn care than farming.

Charles Cue

rcreech
10-23-2010, 08:48 AM
What if i get a loan for 60 ton of fert at 5% interest and fert never changes price i lost money.
Charles Cue


Charles,

Not to beat a dead horse but I have stated in this thread several times about the cost of interest per bag.

If you don't like to borrow money and wait for your prepay you pay the $2-3+ increase...but you can borrow money today at 5% and if you can pay for it off in Feb and it would only cost you $.16 per bag.

So you are risking $.16 to protect yourself from a possible $2-3 increase.

There are not guarantee's that the price will go up or that it will go down. In a normal year I still usually buy my fert in December because of early order programs where I can save up to 10%.

This year just a little earlier to beat the increases.

With the prices I am getting and getting money at 4.25% it is a no brainer!

Again just comes down to your credit, cash flow and nerves.

Mine is more nerves then anything as I want to know it is in the barn and there when I need it! So there is some conveinance built in there also.

rcreech
10-25-2010, 12:24 PM
I was just told by my supplier that urea just went up another $100 a ton on Friday and they are expecting it to keep going.

Ball is in your court! You are on the front of the increases right now.

Don't know, but we will see how it plays out!

Ric
10-25-2010, 12:45 PM
I was just told by my supplier that urea just went up another $100 a ton on Friday and they are expecting it to keep going.

Ball is in your court! You are on the front of the increases right now.

Don't know, but we will see how it plays out!

RC

I am real glad this appearantly works for you. But I got to say you are being rather defensive about this. I make no bones that I am a very small operator and I would rather not pre purchase a years worth of Fertilizer. I cleaned out my Chemical storage yesterday and found a lot of different products long out of date.

rcreech
10-25-2010, 01:19 PM
RC

I am real glad this appearantly works for you. But I got to say you are being rather defensive about this. I make no bones that I am a very small operator and I would rather not pre purchase a years worth of Fertilizer. I cleaned out my Chemical storage yesterday and found a lot of different products long out of date.

Ric,

I am not being defensive in any way! Nothing to be defensive about, just trying to help my follow LCO's. What is there to be defensive about?

I am very happy with my decisions and don't second guess what I do for a minute.

This is big deal to most and just wanted to update!

Business big or small...the increase is the same for all (how was that for a cat in the hat)!

lush&green
10-25-2010, 02:39 PM
I ordered most of my fertilizer for next year. Locked in the price and got spring terms. We will take delivery next month and my contracts are going out in 2 weeks.. Its easy to price things if you own the product. And I don't see prices dropping lower than I am paying now! So I am happy..

rcreech
10-25-2010, 03:26 PM
I ordered most of my fertilizer for next year. Locked in the price and got spring terms. We will take delivery next month and my contracts are going out in 2 weeks.. Its easy to price things if you own the product. And I don't see prices dropping lower than I am paying now! So I am happy..

You did better then me! I have to pay for mine 30 days after delivery. But I got a much better price that way! Spring terms are good though for locking in prices and not needing money up front!

Good Luck!!!!

lush&green
10-25-2010, 04:50 PM
We got the same prices as this year so that was great!!