Framlingham: AtlasFram Group launches nitrogen fertiliser purchasing pool

AtlasFram Group has launched a new purchasing pool for nitrogen fertilisers.

AtlasFram Group has launched a new purchasing pool for nitrogen fertilisers. - Credit: Archant

Members of farmers’ co-operative AtlasFram Group can now benefit from competitive prices on a range of nitrogen fertilisers following the launch of a new purchsing pool.

Framlingham-based Atlas-Fram ? which this week revealed plans to rebrand as FramFarmers ? says that the new pool will also reduce members’ exposure to volatile fertiliser markets, provide set delivery periods and benefit cash flow.

The initiative, said to be the first of its kind, follows the successful introduction last year of a ground-breaking urea purchasing pool, which AtlasFram says has delivered excellent results so far in a difficult market environment.

“Historically, farmers who have been in a position to order early were able to benefit from the best prices,” said Andrew Merton, AtlasFram’s crop inputs manager.

“Since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008 the dynamics of the fertiliser market have changed considerably and this has not necessarily been the case every year, so farmers may have been better off if they had ordered later.

“However, judging the best time to buy is exceptionally difficult for individual farm businesses as they do not have access to the necessary market intelligence or specialist knowledge. Fertiliser prices can move very rapidly and the lowest price might only be available for a very short time, so you have to monitor the market constantly and act decisively when an acceptable price level is reached.

“The Ammonium Nitrate Pool is unique to AtlasFram and offers a number of benefits. It allows participating members to benefit from the group’s access to the most up to date market intelligence and fertiliser specialists who provide completely independent advice solely for the benefit of our members.”

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He added: “With markets for key farm inputs and outputs now exhibiting far greater volatility, timing farm input purchases and crop sales are critical to profitability. AtlasFram already helps members to mitigate risk in a number of ways, for example by securing known prices for key inputs such as fuel, feed and electricity, together with key outputs such as grain.

“AtlasFram’s fixed-cost membership is based on the productive area farmed rather than levies on the value of product purchases, which is a significant advantage to our members because it protects them against input cost inflation and promotes impartial advice.”