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http://ilfb.aghost.net/index.cfm?show=4&id=12955:

Mike McGinnis, DTN Staff Reporter

DES MOINES (DTN) - Global demand for potash coupled with lower production of the soil nutrient by leading companies in Canada and Russia will mean U.S. farmers could pay $66-$70 more per acre for the fertilizer nutrient in 2004-2005, industry experts said.

Canada, Russia and Belarus hold 70 percent of the world's potash capacity.

Strong domestic use and rapidly growing demand by international buyers has resulted in tight supplies for potash as North American inventories in August 2004 fell to their lowest level in 30 years, according to The Fertilizer Institute (TFI).

Harriet Weggmeyer, Fertilizer Institute director of communications, told DTN farmers should be aware of the potash situation in preparation for any fall applications.

"Market supply is tight and has been for a few months and will remain so," he said. Potash is considered a main potassium source after crops are removed during harvest. With record crops in 2004, farmers may need to replenish a larger-than-normal loss of potash while preparing fields for next year's crops.

Because the potash industry has few producers and demand has been low, production has been cut back in past years and no new capacity was built globally during the past 15 years.
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