2008 Fertilizer Prices - Major Increases

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by master gardener, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    Well, I don't know about $13.00, but I can get 24-5-11 50% NS-52 3% Fe SGN 15 , 12k coverage 50 lb bag at $19.95. That's about 42 cents per k cheaper. But for me as a low volume buyer, the price isn't what I base my where to buy decision on. That is really an individual store issue. Unfortunatley for me, my store doesn't particularly cater to me and my small potatos operation. Simply said, I get treated better elsewhere on a personal level and customer service basis of valuation. The lower price is an offest to having to travel farther to buy product.

    For larger volume buyers, I am sure price has much more weight in the where to buy decision. I'm happy to pay a premium for excellent service. I am not happy paying a premium to be treated like a peon, however.
     
  2. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    13 something huh!...you sure about that :confused:. Whitey and I are about the same on that 24-5-11. I've been looking at that for my R-2 app. $18.62/bag. That's pallet price. I don't buy singles. If you're sure about that price I could damn near send you a check, have it freighted here and still save a little...
     
  3. PSUTURFGEEK

    PSUTURFGEEK LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 579

    13.00 is more than likely pretty close to cost on this product, he might have meant last year. that price was pretty close to that aug sept last year.
     
  4. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,054


    Dunno about price as if you look I said I was just guessing! That is based on what I have bought already and what I have in the barn with increases!

    I know what I have in the barn was right at $12....prices have gone up about $3-4/bag and that is a 33%N and they cover 16K.

    So I am assuming that a 24%N covering 12K would be less then that! Now this product does have a little more P, K and Fe so I am sure there is some additional cost there! Never use this EXACT product so it is hard for me to say.

    Cost of your fert is $87 an acre. That would suck! I would have to look at another source. Not big on it....but urea would be looking pretty good!
     
  5. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    I use the 32-3-8 30% SCU, 28-3-10 50% scu and I have looked at the 24-5-11 50% scu. The 32 and the 28 are the exact same price. The 24 is about adollar cheaper per bag. I can get slightly cheaper at other source but the drop in quality outweighs the price difference. I guess Lesco spoiled me, but I hate bouncing a spreader all over a yard to get fert to come out in 90% humidity...I'm sure the customer loves seeing that too. I didn't want to get into a long discussion with quiet the other night about the Andersons products but for me, I would be looking at anywhere from 26.50 to 31.50 per bag for the comparable analysis. It would be polymer coated or the MUTECH. but my god, your talking $400 plus per pallet more. I didn't and couldn't raise my price to cover that, I don't care how much distance it put between me and my compettition....know what I mean? There was some other things about it too....but the price difference was what was shocking!
     
  6. jdmcat

    jdmcat LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 439

    last year we paid $11.40/50lb bag of 25-2-10 3%fe 30%SCU. not sure about the cost this year yet, i don't write the check, i just do the work.
     
  7. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    Rodney, as we have discussed, we are in different worlds! My accounts are small postage stamps that are all irrigated. Results far outweigh material costs when you are doing 3, 4, 5k per customer. Even the difference of $0.42/M doesn't amount to a hill of beans, when I charge $45 per app. Even for 30 customers, that's 50 bucks. I'm always better off buying top shelf materials (not saying that you are not at all) but great results on these small properties for very picky customers is what drives my buying strategy. What I want from a supplier is very different than what guys like you, Ted and others are putting a higher priority on.

    We all have different economics based on our own business models. I can make a killing with growth regulators, shrub and hedge ferts, planting installations and selling IPM and hand pruning. To take a guess, the average household income here probably averages around 200k. They want their property to be perfection, a regular Scotts commercial. A standard ferts and herbicide app program opens the door to other "LCO" type projects. Just like I have to mow to get the apps, I have to do the apps to get to even higher profit margin extras.

    Having said all that.... I have been distributing door hangers this week. I can't beleive the ruts some of these lawns have. Off topic, I know, but I was amazed. I also never realised how many zoysia lawns there are here. It's been an eye opening week! And.... I HATE door hangers!:walking:
     
  8. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    Whitey, maybe you should look into the high end ferts. Quiets advice might be the key for you. I do 125-150 acres a round(7weeks). Now, some of the anderson's products I have been told will hang in there 12 weeks or more. I don't need that kind of longevity but as quiet said, that may be what distances you from the competition. With my quantity, size of lawn and schedule it is just not cost effective. It might just be the edge you need though...
     
  9. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,054


    Ted,

    We are about the same size. I also cover about 150 acres a round (not counting commercial)! How many customers is that for you? I only have about 240.
     
  10. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,054


    Results vs Material costs?

    Remember the price you pay for a product doesn't reflect quality!
    If you pay $24 a bag...that sure doesn't mean then my $12 a bag isn't any better.

    Quality is relected by prill size, dustiness, analysis, SCU quality, micros and uniformity etc. Trust me...I am very picky when it comes to fert, and that is why I have found Lesco to work great for my operation.

    You are right, all areas of the world are different! Most people in my area are not looking for the "Golf Course" lawn, but they still want a very nice lawn.

    Very few irrigate, and most take 4 apps. But again larger acreages can't afford a ton of treatments. Also...there are not many people around here that make $200,000. But I have about a dozen customers that are over $1000each year. Not cheap to take care of 2-4 acre lawns.

    Don't get me wrong as my lawns do look awesome with the product I use...but it has to keep raining. So overall it doesn't matter what product I use, as long as it rains they look great!

    It isn't magic....its just a sound program with timing containing N, Fe and weed control. That is all it takes in a nutshell unless there is a defeciency somewhere or something.
     

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