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2008 Fertilizer Prices - Major Increases

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

  1. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,243

    I am going to jump in on this as is sounds like Rodney and I have very similar expectations from our customers. We also seem to have a similar size in our customer properties. The big thing in my area in that the big guys set the price. Until the customer is educated, to them, a treatment is a treatment, doesn't matter who puts it down. I looked long and hard at going to another vendor besides JDL/Lesco last fall but the quality of the fertilizer was just not quite up to Lesco standards. I did look into Andersons fertilizer several years ago and recently asked a vendor again about it. The price was at least 20% higher and I don't believe it was 20% better, at least I know my customers won't think so.
    Rodney is correct in saying, as long as it rains and you apply a good slow release fertilizer and perform weed control at the proper time the lawns will look great. At least that's how it works in my area.
  2. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Whitey, that kind of customer and market can be found in this part of Ohio. You just have to drive a little more, sometimes, to get to them; or otherwise locate your business nearer to them.

    The competition becomes more and more intense as you compete in the higher income areas, and / or business-park areas that are historically known to be the best "profit-makers" among the local outfits.

    And, really...in these areas, the big winners (these days) most often are the companies who can show they can back up what they say they can do...and not necessarily the ones that come in with the "lowest bid".
  3. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    This area is different, Marcos. It's blue collar and white collar. A typical household might have a transit worker or a policeman and a teacher, and some other source of income, part time job, whatever. The police here make $120k a year with overtime. No typo. Teachers are over 100k too. This is middle class, not upper crust high income. If I were to go to the north shore, those households are pulling in well over 500k a year, easy. I don't travel to those spots. I'm talking Cape Cods with a dormer and 100X120. Like I said, the economics are different.
  4. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,153

    Here where I live....our police chief makes about $27,000 (and he has been here since I was a little kid) and teachers make between $30-35. Other schools around that are lager pay $40.

    Funny how same job...but so much more money! But as always, if it cost that much more to live up there, then is one really ahead making 120K?
  5. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,671

    Same here Rodney,
    My wife is a High School Physics/ Chemistry teacher at a small country High School. She makes about 35k a year. When I left the FD 4 yrs ago I was making 38k. Most people here are in the 30-60k income bracket. My neighbor moved here from Chicago. I live in a 4 yr old 2600 sq ft h&c brick home. I could sell it here for 200k. He said you couldn't touch it up there for less than 500k. That just blew me away! I think the cost of housing up there must be the major part of the higher cost of living. Just my impression...
  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Long Island has the highest paid police force in the country. Tenured teachers make 100k, but start out much lower than that. A NYC cop only makes about 65k with overtime, compared to the LI guys. They start at about 32k, and don't get any real raise until they get 5 years in. Then they get a huge pay raise. The property taxes on that cape cod would run about 7k a year..... that is because they make so much money in the first place!
  7. T-Trim

    T-Trim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 204

    Well I talked to the Lesco dealer about a month ago about the prices. A week ago I got a Info from lesco about the big price jump. Then just today The rep called. Sound like there trying to put the screws in and I don't care. I started looking at ,hopefully a better deal. The most common fert I use is 24-5-11 50% last year I got it for around 18/bag. This year they want 28-32/bag. and that is with buy bulk. I couldn't see paying a normal rate. If I want to get to about 25/bag, I was told you need to buy don't quote me please, like 15k plus.

    CHARLES CUE LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,342

    I here every one talk about the price increase on dry fert but about liquid what has it gone up for thous that use it.For us it went up about 60 cents a gal which comes out to just under 5 dollars an arce that not to bad compared to what you guys are talking about.But as we all know theres no guarantee on the price staying there all summer.Or even till spring for that fact.
    Charles Cue
  9. greenbaylawns

    greenbaylawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    All right, all this reading had me on the edge so I made the call to Lesco/John Deere today. Our company ins't very big, but we still get out there and make the most of what we can. We have 275,000 sqft of turf we fertilize each year. 1st step pre m 25-2-5 (yes we pump it full of juice just like Clemens) last year $17.12 / this year $25.00. 2nd pre m 19-0-11 last year $16.27 /this year $22.51. 3rd Merit 14-0-14 last year $37.00 this year $37.00 to $40.00.
    4th 28-5-12 last year $15.09 this year $24.81. 5th step 34-3-11 last year
    $11.75 this year $25.86 ( I almost hung up on him). So, what can i say. He also told me he would discount me about $3 buck a bag if I bought 40 bags this year. So I just sent 500 post card out today, then in 2 weeks another 500 and so forth until I feel like were good.
  10. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Go fish....

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