Condensed Consolidating Financial Statements Condensed Cash Flow Statement [Table] Condensed Cash Flow Statement [Table] Consolidation Items [Axis] Consolidation Items [Axis] Consolidation Items [Domain] Consolidation Items [Domain] Reportable legal entities Reportable Legal Entities [Member] Eliminations Consolidation, Eliminations [Member] Consolidated Entities [Axis] Consolidated Entities [Axis] Consolidated Entities [Domain] Consolidated Entities [Domain] Parent Parent Company [Member] CF Industries Subsidiaries [Member] Subsidiary Guarantors Guarantor Subsidiaries [Member] Non- Guarantors Non-Guarantor Subsidiaries [Member] Condensed, Consolidating Statement of Cash Flows Condensed Cash Flow Statements, Captions [Line Items] Operating Activities: Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities, Continuing Operations [Abstract] Net earnings Net Income (Loss), Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Adjustments to reconcile net earnings to net cash provided by (used in) operating activities: Adjustments to Reconcile Net Income (Loss) to Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities [Abstract] Depreciation and amortization Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization Deferred income taxes Deferred Income Taxes and Tax Credits Stock-based compensation expense Share-based Payment Arrangement, Noncash Expense Unrealized net loss (gain) on natural gas derivatives Unrealized Gain (Loss) on Derivatives Fair Value, Adjustment The net change in the comparative fair values, of derivative instruments, including options, swaps, futures, and forward contracts, held at each balance sheet date. Unrealized Loss on Embedded Derivative Instrument Unrealized Loss on Embedded Derivative Instrument Unrealized Loss on Embedded Derivative Instrument Gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment Gain (Loss) on Disposition of Property Plant Equipment Undistributed earnings of affiliates—net Income (Loss) from Equity Method Investments Cash Flow Impact This item represents the noncash flow impact of the entity's proportionate share for the period of the net income (loss) of its investee (such as unconsolidated subsidiaries and joint ventures) to which the equity method of accounting is applied. Changes in: Increase (Decrease) in Operating Capital [Abstract] Intercompany accounts receivable/accounts payable - net Increase (decrease) due from (to) related party Increase (decrease) due from (to) related party Accounts receivable—net Increase (Decrease) in Accounts Receivable Inventories Increase (Decrease) in Inventories Accrued and prepaid income taxes Increase (Decrease) in Income Taxes Payable Accounts and notes payable and accrued expenses Increase (Decrease) in Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities Customer advances Increase (Decrease) in Customer Advances Other—net Other Operating Activities, Cash Flow Statement Net cash provided by operating activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Operating Activities Investing Activities: Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Investing Activities, Continuing Operations [Abstract] Additions to property, plant and equipment Payments to Acquire Property, Plant, and Equipment Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment Proceeds from Sale of Property, Plant, and Equipment Distributions received from unconsolidated affiliates Proceeds from Equity Method Investment, Distribution, Return of Capital Investments in consolidated subsidiaries - capital contributions Payments to Acquire Additional Interest in Subsidiaries Other—net Payments for (Proceeds from) Other Investing Activities Net cash used in investing activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Investing Activities Financing Activities: Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Financing Activities, Continuing Operations [Abstract] Long-term debt—net Proceeds from (Repayments of) Debt Short-term debt—net Proceeds from (Repayments of) Short-term Debt Financing fees Payments of Financing Costs Dividends paid on common stock Payments of Ordinary Dividends, Common Stock Dividends to/from affiliates Proceeds from Distributions from Affiliates The distributions of earnings from an entity that is affiliated with the reporting entity by means of direct or indirect ownership. Acquisition of noncontrolling interests in TNCLP Payments to Acquire Interest in Subsidiaries and Affiliates Distribution to noncontrolling interest Payments of Ordinary Dividends, Noncontrolling Interest Purchases of treasury stock Payments for Repurchase of Common Stock Issuances of common stock under employee stock plans Proceeds from Stock Options Exercised Shares withheld for taxes Excess Tax Benefit from Share-based Compensation, Financing Activities Net cash used in financing activities Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Financing Activities Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents Effect of Exchange Rate on Cash and Cash Equivalents, Continuing Operations Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents Cash and Cash Equivalents, Period Increase (Decrease) Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period Cash and Cash Equivalents, at Carrying Value Cash and cash equivalents at end of period Statement of Cash Flows [Abstract] Adjustments to reconcile net earnings to net cash provided by operating activities: Unrealized loss on embedded derivative Undistributed earnings of affiliate—net of taxes Accounts receivable—net Inventories Accounts payable and accrued expenses Distributions to noncontrolling interests Noncontrolling Interest, Decrease from Distributions to Noncontrolling Interest Holders Noncontrolling Interest [Abstract] Noncontrolling Interests Noncontrolling Interest Disclosure [Text Block] Debt Disclosure [Abstract] Financing Agreements Debt Disclosure [Text Block] Statement of Stockholders' Equity [Abstract] Common stock, par value (in dollars per share) Common Stock, Par or Stated Value Per Share Cash Dividends (dollars per share) Common Stock, Dividends, Per Share, Cash Paid Property, Plant and Equipment, Net [Abstract] Property, Plant and Equipment-Net Property, Plant and Equipment Disclosure [Text Block] Fair Value Disclosures [Abstract] Schedule of cash and cash equivalents and other investments reconciliation from adjusted cost to fair value Investment [Table Text Block] Schedule of assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis Schedule of Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring Basis [Table Text Block] Schedule of carrying amounts and estimated fair values of financial instruments Schedule of Carrying Values and Estimated Fair Values of Debt Instruments [Table Text Block] Revenue from Contract with Customer [Abstract] Disaggregation of Revenue [Table] Disaggregation of Revenue [Table] Geographical [Axis] Geographical [Axis] Geographical [Domain] Geographical [Domain] North America North America [Member] Europe and Other Europe and Other [Member] Europe and Other [Member] Disaggregation of Revenue [Line Items] Disaggregation of Revenue [Line Items] Net sales Revenues Customer advances Customer Advances, Current Amount of remaining performance obligation Revenue, Remaining Performance Obligation, Amount Revenue, Performance Obligation, description of returns and other similar obligations, unfulfilled minimum contractual right of payment Revenue, Performance Obligation, description of returns and other similar obligations, unfulfilled minimum contractual right of payment Revenue, Performance Obligation, description of returns and other similar obligations, unfulfilled minimum contractual right of payment Interest Expense [Abstract] Schedule of interest expense Schedule of Interest Expense [Table Text Block] Tabular disclosure of interest related to costs of borrowed funds, including financing agreements. Components of long-term debt Schedule of Debt [Table Text Block] Property, Plant and Equipment [Table] Property, Plant and Equipment [Table] Property, Plant and Equipment, Type [Axis] Property, Plant and Equipment, Type [Axis] Property, Plant and Equipment, Type [Domain] Property, Plant and Equipment, Type [Domain] Land Land [Member] Machinery and equipment Machinery and Equipment [Member] Buildings and improvements Building and Building Improvements [Member] Construction in progress Construction in Progress [Member] Property, Plant and Equipment-Net Property, Plant and Equipment [Line Items] Gross property plant and equipment Property, Plant and Equipment, Gross Less: Accumulated depreciation and amortization Accumulated Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization, Property, Plant, and Equipment Net property, plant and equipment Property, Plant and Equipment, Net Construction in progress expenditures incurred but not yet paid Construction in Progress Expenditures Incurred but Not yet Paid Proceeds from Sale of Other Assets Proceeds from Sale of Other Assets Gain (Loss) on Disposition of Property Plant Equipment Depreciation and amortization Cost, Depreciation and Amortization Plant Turnaround Costs Plant Turnaround Costs Changes in plant turnaround activity Capitalized Plant Turnaround Costs [Roll Forward] A roll forward is a reconciliation of a concept from the beginning of the period to the end of the period. Balance at the beginning of the period Capitalized Plant Turnaround Costs Represents Capitalized plant turnaround costs. Scheduled inspections, replacements and overhauls of plant machinery and equipment are referred to as plant turnarounds. Additions Capitalized Plant Turnaround Additions Additions made to the plant turnaround costs during the period related to inspections, replacements and overhauls of plant machinery and equipment. Depreciation Capitalized Plant Turnaround Depreciation The amount of expense recognized during the period that reflects the allocation of the cost of plant turnaround over the assets' useful lives. Effect of exchange rate changes Capitalized Plant Turnaround Cost Changes in Exchange Rate Effect Represents the effects of foreign currency exchange rate changes occurring during the year. Balance at the end of the period Leases [Abstract] Lessee, Lease, Description [Table] Lessee, Lease, Description [Table] Rail car Railroad Transportation Equipment [Member] Barge charter Maritime Equipment [Member] Terminal and warehouse storage Warehouse [Member] Statistical Measurement [Axis] Statistical Measurement [Axis] Statistical Measurement [Domain] Statistical Measurement [Domain] Minimum Minimum [Member] Maximum Maximum [Member] Lessee, Lease, Description [Line Items] Lessee, Lease, Description [Line Items] Operating lease cost Operating Lease, Cost Short-term lease cost Short-term Lease, Cost Total lease cost Lease, Cost Operating Lease, Payments Operating Lease, Payments Right-of-Use Asset Obtained in Exchange for Operating Lease Liability Right-of-Use Asset Obtained in Exchange for Operating Lease Liability Operating lease right-of-use assets Operating Lease, Right-of-Use Asset Term Lessee, Operating Lease, Term of Contract Operating Lease, Liability, Current Operating Lease, Liability, Current Operating lease liabilities Operating Lease, Liability, Noncurrent Operating Lease, Liability Operating Lease, Liability Operating Lease, Weighted Average Remaining Lease Term Operating Lease, Weighted Average Remaining Lease Term Operating Lease, Weighted Average Discount Rate, Percent Operating Lease, Weighted Average Discount Rate, Percent Operating lease payments, remainder of 2019 Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Remainder of Fiscal Year Operating lease payments, 2020 Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Year Two Operating lease payments, 2021 Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Year Three Operating lease payments, 2022 Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Year Four Operating lease payments, 2023 Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Year Five Operating lease payments, Thereafter Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Due after Year Five Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Payments, Due Lessee, operating lease, lease not yet commenced, amount Lessee, operating lease, lease not yet commenced, amount Lessee, operating lease, lease not yet commenced, amount Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Undiscounted Excess Amount Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Undiscounted Excess Amount Lessee, Operating Lease, Lease Not yet Commenced, Term of Contract Lessee, Operating Lease, Lease Not yet Commenced, Term of Contract Future minimum payments due, 2019 Operating Leases, Future Minimum Payments Due, Next Twelve Months Future minimum payments due, 2020 Operating Leases, Future Minimum Payments, Due in Two Years Future minimum payments due, 2021 Operating Leases, Future Minimum Payments, Due in Three Years Future minimum payments due, 2022 Operating Leases, Future Minimum Payments, Due in Four Years Future minimum payments due, 2023 Operating Leases, Future Minimum Payments, Due in Five Years Future minimum payments due, Thereafter Operating Leases, Future Minimum Payments, Due Thereafter Future minimum payments due, total Operating Leases, Future Minimum Payments Due Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract] Schedule of Equity Method Investments [Table] Schedule of Equity Method Investments [Table] Investment, Name [Axis] Investment, Name [Axis] Investment, Name [Domain] Investment, Name [Domain] Point Lisas Nitrogen Limited (PLNL) Point Lisas Nitrogen Limited [Member] Represents the company in which an equity investment has been made by an entity and that is accounted for under the operating equity method of investments. Investment Type [Axis] Investment Type [Axis] Investments [Domain] Investments [Domain] Operating equity method investments Operating Equity Method Investment [Member] Represents the operating equity method investment. Equity method investments Schedule of Equity Method Investments [Line Items] Ownership interest (as a percent) Equity Method Investment, Ownership Percentage Equity [Abstract] Schedule of changes to AOCI Schedule of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table Text Block] Condensed Balance Sheet Statement [Table] Condensed Balance Sheet Statement [Table] Condensed, Consolidating Balance Sheet Condensed Balance Sheet Statements, Captions [Line Items] Assets Assets [Abstract] Current assets: Assets, Current [Abstract] Cash and cash equivalents Accounts and notes receivable—net Receivables, Net, Current Inventories Inventory, Net Prepaid income taxes Prepaid Taxes Other current assets Other Assets, Current Total current assets Assets, Current Property, plant and equipment—net Investment in affiliate Investments in and Advance to Affiliates, Subsidiaries, Associates, and Joint Ventures Goodwill Goodwill Other assets Other Assets, Noncurrent Total assets Assets Liabilities and Equity Liabilities and Equity [Abstract] Current liabilities: Liabilities, Current [Abstract] Accounts and notes payable and accrued expenses Accounts Payable and Accrued Liabilities, Current Income taxes payable Accrued Income Taxes, Current Current operating lease liabilities Current maturities of long-term debt Long-term Debt, Current Maturities Other current liabilities Other Liabilities, Current Total current liabilities Liabilities, Current Long-term debt, net of current maturities Long-term Debt, Excluding Current Maturities Dividends payable—mandatorily redeemable preferred shares Financial Instruments Subject to Mandatory Redemption, Settlement Terms, Share Value, Amount, Noncurrent Deferred income taxes Deferred Tax Liabilities, Net, Noncurrent Other liabilities Other Liabilities, Noncurrent Equity: Stockholders' Equity, Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest [Abstract] Stockholders’ equity: Stockholders' Equity Attributable to Parent [Abstract] Preferred stock Preferred Stock, Value, Issued Common stock Common Stock, Value, Issued Paid-in capital Additional Paid in Capital Retained earnings Retained Earnings (Accumulated Deficit) Treasury stock Treasury Stock, Value Accumulated other comprehensive loss Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax Total stockholders’ equity Stockholders' Equity Attributable to Parent Noncontrolling interest Stockholders' Equity Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Total equity Stockholders' Equity, Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Total liabilities and equity Liabilities and Equity Segments [Axis] Segments [Axis] Segments [Domain] Segments [Domain] Ammonia Ammonia [Member] Represents ammonia, a principal product of the entity. Granular Urea Urea [Member] Represents urea, a principal product of the entity. UAN UAN [Member] Represents urea ammonium nitrate solution (UAN), a principal product of the entity. AN Ammonium Nitrate Segment [Member] Ammonium Nitrate Segment [Member] Other Other Segments [Member] Inventory Disclosure [Abstract] Finished goods Inventory, Finished Goods, Net of Reserves Raw materials, spare parts and supplies Inventory Raw Materials Spare Parts and Supplies Net of Reserves Carrying amount, net of valuation reserves and adjustments, as of the balance sheet date of unprocessed materials to be used in the manufacturing or production processes, spare parts, and supplies that will be consumed. Total inventories Earnings Per Share [Abstract] Statement [Table] Statement [Table] Equity Components [Axis] Equity Components [Axis] Equity Component [Domain] Equity Component [Domain] Retained Earnings Retained Earnings [Member] Statement Statement [Line Items] Net earnings attributable to common stockholders Net Income (Loss) Available to Common Stockholders, Basic Basic earnings per common share: Earnings Per Share, Basic [Abstract] Weighted-average common shares outstanding Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Basic Net earnings attributable to common stockholders (in dollars per share) Earnings Per Share, Basic Diluted earnings per common share: Earnings Per Share, Diluted [Abstract] Dilutive common shares—stock options (in shares) Weighted Average Number Diluted Shares Outstanding Adjustment Diluted weighted-average shares outstanding Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Diluted Net earnings attributable to common stockholders diluted (in dollars per share) Earnings Per Share, Diluted Antidilutive securities excluded from computation of EPS (in shares) Antidilutive Securities Excluded from Computation of Earnings Per Share, Amount Income Statement [Abstract] Cost of sales Cost of Revenue Gross margin Gross Profit Selling, general and administrative expenses Selling, General and Administrative Expense Other operating—net Other Operating Income (Expense), Net Total other operating costs and expenses Operating Costs and Expenses Equity in earnings of operating affiliate Equity in Earnings of Operating Affiliates This item represents the entity's proportionate share for the period of the net income (loss) of its operating investees (such as unconsolidated subsidiaries and joint ventures) to which the equity method of accounting is applied. Such amount typically reflects adjustments similar to those made in preparing consolidated statements, including adjustments to eliminate intercompany gains and losses, and to amortize, if appropriate, any difference between cost and underlying equity in net assets of the investees at the date of investment. Operating earnings Operating Income (Loss) Interest expense Interest Expense Interest income Interest Income, Other Other non-operating—net Other Nonoperating Income (Expense) Earnings before income taxes Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations before Equity Method Investments, Income Taxes, Noncontrolling Interest Income tax provision (benefit) Income Tax Expense (Benefit) Net earnings Less: Net earnings attributable to noncontrolling interests Net Income (Loss) Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Net earnings attributable to common stockholders Net earnings (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders: Basic (in dollars per share) Diluted (in dollars per share) Weighted average common shares outstanding: Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding, Diluted [Abstract] Basic (in shares) Diluted (in shares) Dividends declared per common share (in dollars per share) Common Stock, Dividends, Per Share, Declared Noncontrolling Interest [Table] Noncontrolling Interest [Table] Noncontrolling Interests Noncontrolling Interest [Member] Legal Entity [Axis] Legal Entity [Axis] Entity [Domain] Entity [Domain] CF Industries Nitrogen, LLC CF Industries Nitrogen, LLC [Member] CF Industries Nitrogen, LLC [Member] TNCLP Partnership Interest [Member] Noncontrolling interest Noncontrolling Interest [Line Items] Noncontrolling interest Stockholders' Equity Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest [Roll Forward] Beginning balance Earnings attributable to noncontrolling interests Distributions declared to noncontrolling interests Purchase of the TNCLP Public Units Noncontrolling Interest, Decrease from Redemptions or Purchase of Interests Ending balance Distributions payable to noncontrolling interests: Distributions Payable to Minority Interest [Roll forward] Beginning balance Distributions Payable to Minority Interest Declared but unpaid dividends or other distributions to noncontrolling interest holders. Declaration of distributions payable Minority Interest Distributions Declared and Payable to Noncontrolling Interest Holders Represents the increase in distributions amount payable to the noncontrolling interest holders from distributions declared. Distributions to noncontrolling interest Minority Interest Distributions to Noncontrolling Interest Holders Represents the distributions amount payable by the non-wholly owned subsidiary or partially owned entity, included in the consolidation of the parent entity, to the noncontrolling interest holders. Ending balance Fair Value, Recurring and Nonrecurring [Table] Fair Value, Recurring and Nonrecurring [Table] Measurement Basis [Axis] Measurement Basis [Axis] Fair Value Measurement [Domain] Fair Value Measurement [Domain] Portion at Fair Value Measurement [Member] Portion at Fair Value Measurement [Member] Estimate of Fair Value Measurement [Member] Estimate of Fair Value Measurement [Member] Reported Value Measurement [Member] Reported Value Measurement [Member] Measurement Frequency [Axis] Measurement Frequency [Axis] Measurement Frequency [Domain] Measurement Frequency [Domain] Recurring basis Fair Value, Recurring [Member] Fair Value Hierarchy and NAV [Axis] Fair Value Hierarchy and NAV [Axis] Fair Value Hierarchy and NAV [Domain] Fair Value Hierarchy and NAV [Domain] Quoted Prices in Active Markets (Level 1) Fair Value, Inputs, Level 1 [Member] Significant Other Observable Inputs (Level 2) Fair Value, Inputs, Level 2 [Member] Fair Value, Inputs (Level 3) Fair Value, Inputs, Level 3 [Member] Assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis Fair Value, Assets and Liabilities Measured on Recurring and Nonrecurring Basis [Line Items] Cash equivalents Cash Equivalents, at Fair Value Cash Equivalents, at Fair Value Nonqualified employee benefit trusts Nonqualified Employee Benefit Trusts, Fair Value Disclosure Represents the nonqualified employee benefit trusts measured at fair value. Embedded derivative liability Embedded Derivative, Fair Value of Embedded Derivative Liability Payments for Strategic Venture Compliance Payments for Strategic Venture Compliance Payments for Strategic Venture Compliance Fair value of long-term debt, including current portion Long-term Debt, Fair Value Inventories Inventory Disclosure [Text Block] Accounting Policies [Abstract] New Accounting Standards New Accounting Pronouncements and Changes in Accounting Principles [Text Block] Stockholders' Equity Stockholders' Equity Note Disclosure [Text Block] Components of lease costs Lease, Cost [Table Text Block] Supplemental cash flows related to leases Schedule of Cash Flow, Supplemental Disclosures [Table Text Block] Supplemental balance sheet related to leases lessee, assets and liabilities [Table Text Block] lessee, assets and liabilities [Table Text Block] Reconciliation of undiscounted cash flows Lessee, Operating Lease, Liability, Maturity [Table Text Block] Schedule of Future Minimum Rental Payments for Operating Leases Schedule of Future Minimum Rental Payments for Operating Leases [Table Text Block] Document and Entity Information Document Type Document Type Document Quarterly Report Document Quarterly Report Document Period End Date Document Period End Date Document Transition Report Document Transition Report Entity File Number Entity File Number Entity Registrant Name Entity Registrant Name Entity Incorporation, State or Country Code Entity Incorporation, State or Country Code Entity Tax Identification Number Entity Tax Identification Number Entity Address, Address Line One Entity Address, Address Line One Entity Address, City or Town Entity Address, City or Town Entity Address, State or Province Entity Address, State or Province Entity Address, Postal Zip Code Entity Address, Postal Zip Code City Area Code City Area Code Local Phone Number Local Phone Number Title of 12(b) Security Title of 12(b) Security Trading Symbol Trading Symbol Security Exchange Name Security Exchange Name Entity Current Reporting Status Entity Current Reporting Status Entity Interactive Data Current Entity Interactive Data Current Entity Filer Category Entity Filer Category Entity Small Business Entity Small Business Entity Emerging Growth Company Entity Emerging Growth Company Entity Shell Company Entity Shell Company Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding Entity Central Index Key Entity Central Index Key Amendment Flag Amendment Flag Current Fiscal Year End Date Current Fiscal Year End Date Document Fiscal Year Focus Document Fiscal Year Focus Document Fiscal Period Focus Document Fiscal Period Focus Segment Reporting [Abstract] Summary of segment data for sales, cost of sales and gross margin Reconciliation of Operating Earnings from Segments to Consolidated [Table Text Block] Tabular disclosure of all significant reconciling items in the reconciliation of operating earnings from reportable segments to the entity's consolidated operating earnings. Schedule of Long-term Debt Instruments [Table] Schedule of Long-term Debt Instruments [Table] Long-term Debt, Type [Axis] Long-term Debt, Type [Axis] Long-term Debt, Type [Domain] Long-term Debt, Type [Domain] Letter of Credit Line of Credit [Member] Short-term Debt, Type [Axis] Short-term Debt, Type [Axis] Short-term Debt, Type [Domain] Short-term Debt, Type [Domain] Debt Instrument [Axis] Debt Instrument [Axis] Debt Instrument, Name [Domain] Debt Instrument, Name [Domain] July 2016 Credit Agreement Amendment July 2016 Credit Agreement Amendment [Member] July 2016 Credit Agreement Amendment [Member] Credit Agreement Senior Credit Agreement [Member] Represents the information pertaining to borrowings under the senior credit agreement. Credit Facility [Axis] Credit Facility [Axis] Credit Facility [Domain] Credit Facility [Domain] Revolving Credit Facility Revolving Credit Facility [Member] Financing agreements Debt Instrument [Line Items] Interest on borrowings(1) Interest Expense, Debt Fees on financing agreements(1) Fee on Financing Agreements Amount Amount of fees expensed during the period related to the financing agreements. Interest on tax liabilities Interest on Tax Liabilities Represents the interest on tax liabilities that was charged against earnings during the period. Interest capitalized Interest Costs Capitalized Maximum borrowing capacity Line of Credit Facility, Maximum Borrowing Capacity Schedule of Condensed Consolidating Statements of Operations Condensed Income Statement [Table Text Block] Schedule of Condensed Consolidating Statements of Comprehensive Income Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table Text Block] Schedule of Condensed Consolidating Balance Sheets Condensed Balance Sheet [Table Text Block] Schedule of Condensed Consolidating Statements of Cash Flows Condensed Cash Flow Statement [Table Text Block] Net Earnings Per Share Earnings Per Share [Text Block] Goodwill and Intangible Assets Disclosure [Abstract] Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets Goodwill and Intangible Assets Disclosure [Text Block] Components of property, plant and equipment-net Schedule of Property Plant and Equipment Estimated Salvage Value [Table Text Block] Tabular disclosure of the salvage value of long-lived, physical assets that are used in the normal conduct of business to produce goods and services and not intended for resale. Examples include land, buildings, machinery and equipment, and other types of furniture and equipment including, but not limited to, office equipment, furniture and fixtures, and computer equipment and software. Summary of plant turnaround activity Capitalized Plant Turn Around Costs [Table Text Block] Tabular disclosure of expenditures related to plant turnarounds, which are capitalized into property, plant and equipment when incurred. Revenue from Contract with Customer Revenue from Contract with Customer [Text Block] Condensed Financial Statements [Table] Condensed Financial Statements [Table] Condensed, Consolidating Statement of Comprehensive Income Condensed Financial Statements, Captions [Line Items] Net earnings Other comprehensive (loss) income Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax Comprehensive income Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Including Portion Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Less: Comprehensive income attributable to noncontrolling interests Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest Comprehensive income attributable to common stockholders Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax, Attributable to Parent Senior Notes 3.400 Percent Due 2021 [Member] [Member] Senior Notes 3.400 Percent Due 2021 [Member] [Member] Senior Notes 3.400 Percent Due 2021 [Member] Senior Notes 4.500 Percent Due 2026] [Member] Senior Notes 4.500 Percent Due 2026] [Member] Senior Notes 4.500 Percent Due 2026] [Member] Senior Notes Senior Notes [Member] Letter of Credit Letter of Credit [Member] Unamortized debt discount Debt Instrument, Unamortized Discount Total deferred debt issuance costs Unamortized Debt Issuance Expense Available credit Line of Credit Facility, Remaining Borrowing Capacity Outstanding letters of credit Letters of Credit Outstanding, Amount Long-term Line of Credit Long-term Line of Credit Interest rate (as a percent) Debt Instrument, Interest Rate, Stated Percentage Line of Credit Facility, Fair Value of Amount Outstanding Line of Credit Facility, Fair Value of Amount Outstanding Principal Long-term Debt, Gross Statement of Financial Position [Abstract] Accounts receivable—net Accounts payable and accrued expenses Preferred stock—$0.01 par value, 50,000,000 shares authorized Common stock—$0.01 par value, 500,000,000 shares authorized, 2019—218,961,651 shares issued and 2018—233,800,903 shares issued Treasury stock—at cost, 2019—42,608 shares and 2018—10,982,408 shares Accumulated other comprehensive loss Total equity Condensed Consolidating Financial Statements Condensed Financial Statements [Text Block] Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract] Loss Contingencies [Table] Loss Contingencies [Table] IDAHO IDAHO Litigation Status [Axis] Litigation Status [Axis] Litigation Status [Domain] Litigation Status [Domain] Pending Litigation Pending Litigation [Member] Settled Litigation [Member] Settled Litigation [Member] Loss Contingencies [Line Items] Loss Contingencies [Line Items] Number of people killed Loss Contingency, Number of People Killed Loss Contingency, Number of People Killed Number of people injured Loss Contingency, Number of People Injured Loss Contingency, Number of People Injured Number of plaintiffs Loss Contingency, Number of Plaintiffs Number of entities that filed claims Loss Contingency, Number of Entities that Filed Claims Loss Contingency, Number of Entities that Filed Claims Number of people that filed claims Loss Contingency, Number of People that Filed Claims Loss Contingency, Number of People that Filed Claims Number of insurance companies that filed claims Loss Contingency, Number of Insurance Companies that Filed Claims Loss Contingency, Number of Insurance Companies that Filed Claims Loss Contingency, Claims Settled, Number Loss Contingency, Claims Settled, Number Loss contingency, number of mines Loss contingency, number of mines Loss contingency, number of mines Recently Adopted Pronouncements New Accounting Pronouncements, Policy [Policy Text Block] Schedule of Finite-Lived Intangible Assets [Table] Schedule of Finite-Lived Intangible Assets [Table] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets by Major Class [Axis] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets by Major Class [Axis] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Major Class Name [Domain] Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Major Class Name [Domain] Customer relationships Customer Relationships [Member] TerraCair brand Trademarks [Member] Trade names Trade Names [Member] Identifiable intangibles Finite-Lived Intangible Assets [Line Items] Gross Carrying Amount Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Gross Accumulated Amortization Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Accumulated Amortization Net Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Net Amortization expense Amortization of Intangible Assets Finite-Lived Intangible Asset, Useful Life Finite-Lived Intangible Asset, Useful Life Total estimated amortization expense for the five succeeding fiscal years Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Net, Amortization Expense, Fiscal Year Maturity [Abstract] Remainder of 2019 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Next Twelve Months 2021 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Two 2022 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Three 2023 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Four 2024 Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Amortization Expense, Year Five Schedule of inventories Schedule of Inventory, Current [Table Text Block] Interest Expense Interest Expense [Text Block] The complete disclosure pertaining to an entity's interest expense. Noncontrolling Interests Minority Interest [Table Text Block] The tabular disclosure for noncontrolling interest in consolidated subsidiaries which displays a reconciliation of the beginning and the ending balances of noncontrolling interest and distributions payable to noncontrolling interests on the entity's consolidated balance sheet. Preferred stock, par value (in dollars per share) Preferred Stock, Par or Stated Value Per Share Preferred stock, shares authorized Preferred Stock, Shares Authorized Common stock, shares authorized Common Stock, Shares Authorized Common stock, shares issued Common Stock, Shares, Issued Treasury stock, shares Treasury Stock, Shares Income Tax Disclosure [Abstract] Operating Loss Carryforwards [Table] Operating Loss Carryforwards [Table] LOUISIANA LOUISIANA Income Tax Authority [Axis] Income Tax Authority [Axis] Income Tax Authority [Domain] Income Tax Authority [Domain] State and Local Jurisdiction [Member] State and Local Jurisdiction [Member] Income Tax Authority, Name [Axis] Income Tax Authority, Name [Axis] Income Tax Authority, Name [Domain] Income Tax Authority, Name [Domain] The Board of Inland Revenue [Member] The Board of Inland Revenue [Member] The Board of Inland Revenue [Member] Operating Loss Carryforwards [Line Items] Operating Loss Carryforwards [Line Items] Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation, Percent Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation, Percent Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation, Tax Credit, Investment, Amount Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation, Tax Credit, Investment, Amount Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations before Equity Method Investments, Income Taxes, Noncontrolling Interest Effective Income Tax Rate Excluding The Earnings Attributable To The Noncontrolling Interests Effective Income Tax Rate Excluding The Earnings Attributable To The Noncontrolling Interests Effective Income Tax Rate Excluding The Earnings Attributable To The Noncontrolling Interests Income Tax Examination, Estimate of Possible Loss Income Tax Examination, Estimate of Possible Loss Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017, Incomplete Accounting, Transition Tax Liability, adjustment Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017, Incomplete Accounting, Transition Tax Liability, adjustment Effective Income Tax Rate Reconciliation, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017, Incomplete Accounting, Transition Tax Liability, adjustment Investment [Table] Investment [Table] Financial Instrument [Axis] Financial Instrument [Axis] Financial Instruments [Domain] Financial Instruments [Domain] Nonqualified employee benefit trusts Trust for Benefit of Employees [Member] Other debt securities Other Debt Obligations [Member] U.S. and Canadian government obligations US Government Debt Securities [Member] Investment Investment [Line Items] Cash Cash Cash equivalents: Cash Equivalents, at Carrying Value [Abstract] Cash equivalents, adjusted cost Cash Equivalents, Adjusted Cost Represents the adjusted cost of cash equivalents, that are considered as available-for-sale and recorded at fair value. Cash equivalents, fair value Cash and cash equivalents, adjusted cost Cash and Cash Equivalents, Adjusted Cost Cash and Cash Equivalents, Adjusted Cost Cash and cash equivalents, fair value disclosure Cash and Cash Equivalents, Fair Value Disclosure Available-for-sale securities, adjusted cost Available-for-sale Securities, Amortized Cost Basis Available-for-sale securities, gross unrealized gain Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Accumulated Gross Unrealized Gain, before Tax Available-for-sale securities, gross unrealized loss Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Accumulated Gross Unrealized Loss, before Tax Available-for-sale securities, fair value Available-for-sale Securities Statement of Comprehensive Income [Abstract] Other comprehensive (loss) income: Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax [Abstract] Foreign currency translation adjustment—net of taxes Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Foreign Currency Transaction and Translation Adjustment, Net of Tax Unrealized loss on securities—net of taxes Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Securities, Available-for-sale, Adjustment, after Tax Defined benefit plans—net of taxes Other Comprehensive (Income) Loss, Defined Benefit Plan, after Reclassification Adjustment, after Tax Total other comprehensive income Less: Comprehensive income attributable to noncontrolling interests Fair Value Measurements Fair Value Disclosures [Text Block] Equity Method Investments and Joint Ventures [Abstract] Balance Sheet Location [Axis] Balance Sheet Location [Axis] Balance Sheet Location [Domain] Balance Sheet Location [Domain] Property, plant and equipment Property, Plant and Equipment [Member] Unrecorded Unconditional Purchase Obligation, Percent Unrecorded Unconditional Purchase Obligation, Percent Unrecorded Unconditional Purchase Obligation, Percent Equity Method Investments Equity Method Investments Carrying value of investments in excess of the entity's share of the affiliates' book value Equity Method Investment, Difference Between Carrying Amount and Underlying Equity Number of years that the increased basis for property, plant and equipment and identifiable intangibles will be amortized Finite Lived Tangible and Intangible Assets Revaluation Increased Basis Depreciation Period The depreciation period of the increased basis (due to revaluation) over book value of finite-lived tangible and intangible assets. Obligation to purchase ammonia (as a percent) Unrecorded Unconditional Purchase Obligation, Description Purchases of ammonia from PLNL Unrecorded Unconditional Purchase Obligation, Purchases Income Tax Examination, Penalties and Interest Accrued Income Tax Examination, Penalties and Interest Accrued Gain (Loss) Related to Litigation Settlement Gain (Loss) Related to Litigation Settlement Schedule of carrying amount of goodwill by business segment Schedule of Goodwill [Table Text Block] Schedule of the identifiable intangibles and their carrying values presented in other noncurrent assets on consolidated balance sheet Schedule of Finite-Lived Intangible Assets [Table Text Block] Schedule of estimated future amortization expense Schedule of Finite-Lived Intangible Assets, Future Amortization Expense [Table Text Block] Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table] Schedule of Segment Reporting Information, by Segment [Table] Operating Segments Operating Segments [Member] Other Other Products [Member] Represents the information pertaining to all other products of the entity, not separately disclosed. Segment reporting information Segment Reporting Information [Line Items] Segment data Segment Reporting, Gross, Margin Reconciling Item [Abstract] Total other operating costs and expenses Disaggregation of Revenue Disaggregation of Revenue [Table Text Block] Leases Lessee, Operating Leases [Text Block] Summary of net earnings per share Schedule of Earnings Per Share, Basic and Diluted [Table Text Block] Schedule of Goodwill [Table] Schedule of Goodwill [Table] Goodwill and other intangible assets Goodwill [Line Items] Goodwill Goodwill [Roll Forward] Goodwill, Beginning Balance Effect of exchange rate changes(1) Goodwill, Foreign Currency Translation Gain (Loss) Goodwill, Ending Balance Adjustments for New Accounting Pronouncements [Axis] Adjustments for New Accounting Pronouncements [Axis] Type of Adoption [Domain] Type of Adoption [Domain] Accounting Standards Update 2014-09 Accounting Standards Update 2014-09 [Member] Accounting Standards Update 2016-01 Accounting Standards Update 2016-01 [Member] $0.01 Par Value Common Stock Common Stock [Member] Treasury Stock Treasury Stock [Member] Paid-In Capital Additional Paid-in Capital [Member] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) AOCI Attributable to Parent [Member] Total Stockholders’ Equity Parent [Member] Unrealized Gain (Loss) on Securities AOCI, Accumulated Gain (Loss), Debt Securities, Available-for-sale, Parent [Member] Cumulative Effect of New Accounting Principle in Period of Adoption Cumulative Effect of New Accounting Principle in Period of Adoption Increase (decrease) in equity Increase (Decrease) in Stockholders' Equity [Roll Forward] Balance Treasury Stock, Value, Acquired, Cost Method Treasury Stock, Value, Acquired, Cost Method Treasury Stock, Retired, Cost Method, Amount Treasury Stock, Retired, Cost Method, Amount Acquisition of treasury stock under employee stock plans Acquisition of Treasury Stock under Employee Stock Plans Cost of common stock repurchased during the period pertaining to employee stock plans. Recorded using the cost method. Issuance of $0.01 par value common stock under employee stock plans Stock Issued During Period, Value, Stock Options Exercised Stock-based compensation expense Shares Issued, Value, Share-based Payment Arrangement, after Forfeiture Cash dividends Dividends, Common Stock, Cash Payments of Ordinary Dividends, Common Stock Acquisition of noncontrolling interests in TNCLP Noncontrolling Interest, Increase from Sale of Parent Equity Interest Balance Stock Repurchase Program, Authorized Amount Stock Repurchase Program, Authorized Amount Stock Repurchased and Retired During Period, Shares Stock Repurchased and Retired During Period, Shares Stock Repurchased and Retired During Period, Value Stock Repurchased and Retired During Period, Value stock repurchase accrued but unpaid stock repurchase accrued but unpaid stock repurchase accrued but unpaid Treasury Stock, Shares, Retired Treasury Stock, Shares, Retired Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table] Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Table] Foreign Currency Translation Adjustment Accumulated Foreign Currency Adjustment Attributable to Parent [Member] Unrealized Gain (Loss) on Derivatives Accumulated Net Gain (Loss) from Cash Flow Hedges Attributable to Parent [Member] Defined Benefit Plans Accumulated Defined Benefit Plans Adjustment Attributable to Parent [Member] Changes to accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) [Line Items] Balance at the beginning of the period Other Comprehensive Income Unrealized Holding Gain (Loss) Arising During Period, before Tax Other Comprehensive Income Unrealized Holding Gain (Loss) Arising During Period, before Tax Before tax and reclassification adjustments amount of unrealized holding gain (loss) and transfers on securities and derivatives. Other Comprehensive Income Pension and Other Postretirement Benefit Plans Arising During Period before Tax Other Comprehensive Income Pension and Other Postretirement Benefit Plans Arising During Period before Tax Before tax and reclassification adjustments amount of other comprehensive (income) loss related to pension and other postretirement defined benefit plans. Reclassification from Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income, Current Period, before Tax Reclassification from Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income, Current Period, before Tax Effect of exchange rate changes and deferred taxes Other Comprehensive Income Exchange Rate Changes and Deferred Taxes Activity during the period in other comprehensive income due to the effect of exchange rate changes and taxes. Balance at the end of the period Segment Disclosures Segment Reporting Disclosure [Text Block] Subsequent Event Type [Axis] Subsequent Event Type [Axis] Subsequent Event Type [Domain] Subsequent Event Type [Domain] Subsequent Event Subsequent Event [Member] Business Acquisition [Axis] Business Acquisition [Axis] Business Acquisition, Acquiree [Domain] Business Acquisition, Acquiree [Domain] Terra Nitrogen Company LP Terra Nitrogen Company LP [Member] Terra Nitrogen Company LP [Member] Counterparty Name [Axis] Counterparty Name [Axis] Counterparty Name [Domain] Counterparty Name [Domain] CHS Inc. CHS Inc. [Member] CHS Inc. [Member] Terra Nitrogen GP Inc Terra Nitrogen GP Inc [Member] Terra Nitrogen GP Inc [Member] Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Deferred Tax Liabilities Business Combination, Recognized Identifiable Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed, Deferred Tax Liabilities Distributions Payable to Minority Interest Maximum Annual Granular Urea Tons Eligible for Purchase Maximum Annual Granular Urea Tons Eligible for Purchase Maximum Annual Granular Urea Tons Eligible for Purchase Maximum Annual UAN Tons Eligible for Purchase Maximum Annual UAN Tons Eligible for Purchase Maximum Annual UAN Tons Eligible for Purchase Embedded Derivative, Fair Value of Embedded Derivative Liability business acquisition, number of units purchased business acquisition, number of units purchased business acquisition, number of units purchased Acquisition of noncontrolling interests in TNCLP Percentage of aggregate ownership held by entity through general and limited partnership Noncontrolling Interest, Ownership Percentage by Parent Percentage of ownership interest held by outside investors Noncontrolling Interest, Ownership Percentage by Noncontrolling Owners Income Taxes Income Tax Disclosure [Text Block] Condensed Income Statement [Table] Condensed Income Statement [Table] Condensed, Consolidating Statement of Operations Condensed Income Statements, Captions [Line Items] Interest expense—mandatorily redeemable preferred shares Distributions on Mandatorily Redeemable Securities Net earnings of wholly owned subsidiaries Income (Loss) from Wholly Owned Subsidiaries This item represents the entity's proportionate share for the period of the net income (loss) of its unconsolidated subsidiaries. Income tax (benefit) provision Other comprehensive income Comprehensive income Comprehensive income attributable to common stockholders Equity Method Investment Equity Method Investments and Joint Ventures Disclosure [Text Block] Revenue, Remaining Performance Obligation, Expected Timing of Satisfaction [Table] Revenue, Remaining Performance Obligation, Expected Timing of Satisfaction [Table] Revenue, Remaining Performance Obligation, Expected Timing of Satisfaction, Start Date [Axis] Revenue, Remaining Performance Obligation, Expected Timing of Satisfaction, Start Date [Axis] Revenue, Remaining Performance Obligation, Expected Timing of Satisfaction [Line Items] Revenue, Remaining Performance Obligation, Expected Timing of Satisfaction [Line Items] Revenue, Remaining Performance Obligation, Expected Timing of Satisfaction, Percent Revenue, Remaining Performance Obligation, Expected Timing of Satisfaction, Percent Revenue, Remaining Performance Obligation, Expected Timing of Satisfaction, Percent Contingencies Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Text Block] Background and Basis of Presentation Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements Disclosure [Text Block] Schedule of Debt Instruments [Table] Schedule of Debt Instruments [Table] A table or schedule providing information pertaining to long-term and short-term debt instruments or arrangements. Amendment No. 3 to the Third Amended and Restated Revolving Credit Agreement [Member] Amendment No. 3 to the Third Amended and Restated Revolving Credit Agreement [Member] Amendment No. 3 to the Third Amended and Restated Revolving Credit Agreement [Member] Unsecured senior notes 7.125% due 2020 Unsecured Senior Notes 7.125 Percent Due 2020 [Member] Unsecured long-term debt (with maturities initially due after one year or beyond the operating cycle if longer), it is paid off in full before any payments are made to junior note holders. Senior notes 3.450% due 2023 Senior Notes 3.450 Percent Due 2023 [Member] Represents the 3.450 percent senior notes due on June 1, 2023. A senior note is a bond that takes priority over other debt securities sold by the issuer. In the event the issuer goes bankrupt, senior debt holders receive priority for (must receive) repayment prior to (relative to) junior and unsecured (general) creditors. Senior notes 5.150% due 2034 Senior Notes 5.150 Percent Due 2034 [Member] Senior Notes 5.150 Percent Due 2034 [Member] Senior notes 4.950% due 2043 Senior Notes 4.950 Percent Due 2043 [Member] Represents the 4.950 percent senior notes due on June 1, 2043. A senior note is a bond that takes priority over other debt securities sold by the issuer. In the event the issuer goes bankrupt, senior debt holders receive priority for (must receive) repayment prior to (relative to) junior and unsecured (general) creditors. Senior notes 5.375% due 2044 Senior Notes 5.375 Percent Due 2044 [Member] Senior Notes 5.375 Percent Due 2044 [Member] Debt Instruments Debt Instruments [Abstract] Effective Interest Rate (percent) Debt Instrument, Interest Rate, Effective Percentage Carrying amount Long-term Debt Long-term Debt, Excluding Current Maturities, Gross Long-term Debt, Excluding Current Maturities, Gross Long-term Debt, Excluding Current Maturities, Gross Line of Credit Facility, increase in Maximum Borrowing Capacity Line of Credit Facility, increase in Maximum Borrowing Capacity Line of Credit Facility, increase in Maximum Borrowing Capacity Long-term Debt, Current Maturities, Gross Long-term Debt, Current Maturities, Gross Long-term Debt, Current Maturities, Gross