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How do you price compare?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by turf hokie, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,744

    I am about spun with the prices and am making my final decisions shortly. I guess I am looking for a little reassurance on the decision making process.
    I can store up to 3 trailers so storage is not a concern.

    Do you base you decision on A/I per 1,000 -- N / 1,000 -- terms -- length of price lock or a combination of these.

    I am using dimension and am basing my decision on the AI of the bag. But we are also trying to keep our N at about 3/4 of a pound per 1,000 as well.

    I have vendors A & B that are within pennies of each other at 3/4 of a pound of N and .21 AI per 1,000 per season. But vendor A will guarantee pricing (in writing until June 1 -- Vendor B will only lock until the end of Feb) both have terms.

    I have vendor C that is $17 cheaper per acre based on AI at .4 lbs / 1,000 per season but only giving me 1/2 lb of N. (Locked until the end of Feb. but no terms.)

    I have thrown out the per bag price as you should b/c I have a $7 spread on the per bag pricing. Vendor C being the highest bag price but lowest per A price. (this vendor is also an organic based supplier, another plus)

    I am going to make my decision on the A/I and worry about the N later in the year. Yes, we need to have a higher A/I due to crabgrass pressure in our area.

    Am I just overthinking this or is this an easy decision?
  2. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,059

    I don't think you can "over think" this stuff. This is what makes one successful as saving money on your inputs is just as or more important then making money!

    The cost/bag is useless to me. I only care about the price/k (when comparing apples to apples).

    First figure up your cost/K or cost/acre for each (which is sounds like you have).

    Look at the savings with all your vendors with interest included (terms).

    Now see what the % difference is.

    If you can borrow money cheaper then your savings between two highest suppliers then I wouldn't worry about the terms and would get an operating loan and go with the cheapest supplier.

    It may be cheaper to use terms also!

    If there is a 10% difference in suppliers and you can borrow money at 6.2% then you are saving 3.8%.

    Only thing is....if you are going to borrow money for fert now, you should have done it three months ago as you could have saved over 20%. But hind site is 20-20 as they say!

    PSUTURFGEEK LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 579

    I think what you said as far as AI is correct, Always take AI over N especially in the spring when AI is way more important.
  4. The Ranger

    The Ranger LawnSite Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 208

    The difference between 1/2N & 3/4N is not noticable. Use the lower N product and save yourself some money.
  5. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,059

    Turf Hokie,

    I think at the end of the day it is what you want and how it fits in your program.

    As PSU and Ranger says you can look at the cost of AI, some look at the cost of N, but I look at the overall cost per area (N being the major factor in most cases especially after round 1).

    I was offered two dimension products this year...as one was a 13%N with Dimension and one was a 19%N with Dimension.

    The 13%N was about the same cost/bag, but when I penciled it out (really I used excel :laugh:) it was a lot cheaper to go with the 19%N product.

    Typically the higher the analysis of N/bag the cheaper the N cost/unit.

    So I got the same AI/area, but am getting a little more N.

    N is what typically drives the price of the bag of fert, so that is how price compare.
  6. bug-guy

    bug-guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 972

    i always look at cost per 1000 first and than look at product (ammount of ai)
    a friend came by my shop and told me he was going with me on a combo product(weed and feed) both products he looked at had same ai but my product cost more per bag but treated4-5 1000 more.
    it can get tricky some products have same anyalsis but different ai which could mean different coverage or lower ai per 1000
    i find most combo's are applied for ai coverage meaning the fert anyaliss will not tell you the coverage

    pm. me w/email and i will send you a spread sheet for combo products and tell me if it is usefull ( any checking on math would be good)

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