By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer
Fertilizer prices have dropped in recent months but not enough for some area suppliers and farmers.
Curtis Breshears, owner of SPRA-Green Inc. in Portales, said fertilizer costs that sprouted as high as $800 a ton have wilted to about $400.
“It is half of what it was, but it still isn’t cheap enough yet,” Breshears said. “For the year that it was high, we sold very little pot ash or phosphorus. It was too high to use so we got by without it for a couple of years.”
The majority of SPRA-Green Inc. customers are farmers, who use the fertilizer on their fields. Some of their customers have switched to manure because it is cheaper.
Breshears said he has been using manure to fertilize some of his fields.
Charles Guthals, owner of Guthals Nursery in Clovis, said fertilizer prices started to shrink over the winter months.
“I don’t know why it didn’t go down prior to that time because gasoline prices (were dropping),” Guthals said. “Of course some parts of fertilizer are an oil by-product, or that’s what the manufactures tell us anyway.”
Guthals said his business deals more with landscaping.
“The fertilizer that we formulate for Duffles Turfmaster, it went down a couple dollars a bag,” Guthals said. “It was $19.50 and it went down to $17.50 a bag, that would be an 11 percent difference.”
Breshears said farmers used less fertilizer and tried to stretch it so it would last.
“I asked a guy why did it go up so high,” Breshears said. “He said demand. About two years ago there was a huge demand for corn in the Midwest and they didn’t seem to care how much it cost for fertilizer. They used it on the corn so now we’re paying the price.”