Know Your N Cost

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by The Ranger, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. The Ranger

    The Ranger LawnSite Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 208

    In a few threads recently posted price of fert was discussed. One mentioned since the cost of urea was so high might as well spread SCU. If you are pricing fert and you are comparing similar products (30% scu, 50% scu, or urea) you should compare the cost of N not cost of the bag. Example: bag of Urea costs 14.00. Each lb of N cost 61cents. Comparing that to a bag of
    34-3-11 @ 14.00 the N in the 34-3-11 N cost 82 cents lb. When buying fert try to buy the best bang for a buck by buying the most amount of N for the least price in a similar product. Example: take a 25-3-5 for 14.00 (30%) and the 34-3-11 (30%) for 14.00, N in the 25-3-5 cost 1.12 while the other is 82cents. This is how you figure it....since fert is always in a 50lb bag, except for retail. Divide the N number by 2. The number you get represents the amount of lbs of N in the bag. Divide the cost of the bag by the number of N lbs = cost per N lb. And if you are comparing urea costs, urea is pretty much urea (prill or pellets)and Lesco has never been competitive on that product.
  2. The Ranger

    The Ranger LawnSite Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 208

    Lets take it one more step....once you know your N cost you can figure how much it is costing you to treat per M (1000) sqft. in product. Since we normally apply 1lb of actual N per M then the cost to apply the 34-4-11@14.00 per bag is 82 cents per M. The 34-3-11 should cover about 17M while the 25-3-8 costs the same the amount of N in the bag and the amount of coverage is less. 25-3-8 is 12.5M@ 1lb of N per M or 1.12 per M. If you spread at less than 1lb of N per M this will drive your sqft cost lower. If you were spreading the 25-3-8 product @ 3/4 lb of N/M your bag coverage will go to 18.75 (lets just round it to 18) so your sqft cost drop to 77 cents. Spread the 34 product @ 3/4lb of N/M and your product cost per M drops to; .55 cents. You treat millions of sqft and the product choice can make a big difference in your costs. If urea costs about 14 per bag, 23M coverage @ 1lb per M (although it is difficult to spread evenly at this rate) you costs per M for fert are about .61 cents. Any comments to this post are welcomed.
  3. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    Very good information.

    This can go yet another level deeper when looking at the cost of N.

    I am often more concerned about how that amount of N in the product is derived. This may not matter as much depending on your turf and climate, but many times the real value is determined by how much slow release is included. This is where you get more bang for the buck so to speak.

    If you look at 32-5-7 with 30% SCU, compare it to a 28-5-12 with 50% SCU. You may find that the total price per pound of N is lower with the 32-5-7, however 28-5-12 could turn out to provide more slow release per dollar spent. One would have to compare actual pricing, but that is just an example.
  4. AllBrad

    AllBrad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

  5. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,091

    You just subscribed to a seven year old thread and I replied to make it worth your while
  6. Above Par Lawns

    Above Par Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    :drinkup: I stumbled upon this thread yesterday believe it or not.
  7. AllBrad

    AllBrad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    Well that means that i am 7 years behind. Just storing info for later reference. Thanks for the reply. :)
  8. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,695

    It doesn't mean you're 7 yrs behind.

    It just means that good information is timeless.....
  9. AllBrad

    AllBrad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    Great site. Thank you everyone for you wonderful information. Now if I could just figure out if Mop is bad for centipede I would be set.
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,975

    SOP or else potassium nitrate are safer sources of K for salt sensitive grasses. It might not matter much on soils that are so sandy that nothing is retained. I have to think about what I apply because my soils retain salt very well. The dogma about not fertilizing centipede much is related to the grass's reaction to having the wrong nutrient carriers applied to it. Keep in mind that centipede also needs an acid soil, lots of K in relation to N, not much P, and micronutrients. When centipede leaves turn purple, consider that a sign of possible K deficiency.

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