With an equivalent July farm price of £350/t for ammonium nitrate in France, it is not surprising UK domestic production priced at £335/t has been snapped up to the end of August, writes Roger Chesher.

October production is also nearly fully booked at £382/t, November tonnage is available at £385/t and December will soon be made available at £390/t.

These prices reflect global supply and demand, but the spectre of high gas prices is beginning to loom.

Beet-fertiliser

Last summer, gas was 20p/therm today it is about 70p, with the prospect of rising as high as £1.50 in the winter. The question remains whether China will lift its embargo on urea exports before Christmas. If so, there may be an easing of global nitrogen pricing.

Most arable farmers are thinking of harvest and subsequent plantings, so P and K will be uppermost in the mind.

There is little alternative than to bite the bullet over these inputs. But if there was ever the right time to undertake P, K and pH soil analysis it must be immediately after this harvest. Poultry farmers with muck to dispose of are finding themselves unusually popular.