By FWi staff
DRIER weather and warming soils have meant a rapid increase in fertiliser buying since Easter, according to a leading supplier.
This signals the start of a potentially difficult logistical exercise of getting fertiliser on to farms in time for application.
“The UK fertiliser market has still to deliver 2.5m tonnes this season, equivalent to about 30,000t delivered to farms a day,” said Ian Moseley, fertiliser manager for Countrywide Farmers.
“Even with everything running smoothly, the industry can only deliver 20,000t a day.”
The logistical problem has arisen due to the huge reduction in the number of hauliers prepared to deliver fertiliser.
“Fertiliser transport costs have risen dramatically since hauliers are now required to be ADR-registered, which allows them to carry ammonium nitrate, deemed to be a hazardous product,” said Mr Moseley.
“This extra cost has to be absorbed by the transport company, and many hauliers have decided to look for other markets or have gone out of business all together.”
Mr Moseley adds that businesses need to place fertiliser orders well in advance to ensure delivery in time for the application window.
“Farming is going through difficult times, and this will undoubtedly put a strain on cash flows. But holding back the potential of the crops in the ground will produce more serious implications come harvest.”