FARMERS holding back on placing their fertiliser orders waiting for the price to fall might not receive product in time for this season's crop.
If farmers wait too long before placing orders, there might not be enough fertiliser shipped in and not enough transport or time available to get it to the farms, particularly in a time of unprecedented demand for trucks to transport grain to ports.
In the first year of bulk wheat export deregulation, exporters all want to ship early and the pressure to move grain faster is increasing and not expected to ease for several months.
CSBP fertilisers general manager Darryl Dent said there were a number of reasons for the slower ordering, which included the late harvest, changes in grain marketing, tighter financial markets, uncertain forward economics and falling fertiliser prices.
"Farmers had understandably delayed their fertiliser collections until this point," Mr Dent said.
He said that to address farmers' concerns about falling prices, CSBP had offered free downward price protection to its Fertiliser Supply Agreement (FSA) and FSA Partnership customers collecting between January 12 and March 31, 2009, giving growers confidence of paying the lowest listed CSBP price during a set period in the lead-up to seeding.
"Successive price lists released since December 2008 have seen the price of CSBP nitrogenous and ammonium phosphate products reduced to reflect the lower cost of imported stock progressively secured by CSBP and pass on this lower cost to CSBP customers," Mr Dent said.
"Given a delay in fertiliser collection, a large amount of product will need to be despatched over a much tighter timeframe and CSBP collection appointments through to May are filling rapidly.
"Many CSBP customers have nominated their fertiliser requirements for the coming season.
"CSBP is close to finalising stock imports based on these customer nominations to meet these known commitments in time for seeding."
Mr Dent said CSBP had a greater capacity to store and despatch product compared to other WA suppliers.
"CSBP is well positioned at its 11 locations across the state to load trucks to meet collection demand based on current customer nominations," he said.
"WA Fertiliser Services Association president Matthew Nield mentioned on radio recently that he is concerned that if there is an early break to the season, there will not be enough trucks available to deliver fertiliser at short notice.
"CSBP would encourage farmers dependent on transport contractors for on-farm delivery to consider the ability and capacity of transport contractors to move product onto farm in time for seeding."