OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail prices for most fertilizers continued to move higher, while the price for two fertilizers moved lower during the first week of December 2017, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.
As has been the case for two weeks in a row, six of the eight major fertilizer prices were higher compared to the previous month. Also, like last week, none of the six were up a noteworthy amount.
DAP had an average price of $438/ton, MAP $471/ton, potash $343, urea $344/ton, 10-34-0 $404/ton and anhydrous $424/ton.
The two remaining fertilizers were lower in price compared to a month earlier, but once again, neither was down a sizeable amount. UAN28 had an average price of $215/ton while 10-34-0 was at $251/ton.
On a price-per-pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.37/lb.N, anhydrous $0.25/lb.N, UAN28 $0.39/lb.N and UAN32 $0.42/lb.N.
With harvest completed in most of the Corn Belt and favorable weather hanging on, farmers may consider applying anhydrous before winter weather comes. A recent news article from the University of Missouri Extension titled "Fall Anhydrous Applications Carry Risks and Rewards" looks at the pros and cons of applying the fertilizer in the fall.
Andy Luke, University of Missouri Extension regional agronomy specialist, said mild weather into December has allowed fieldwork to continue. Some Missouri farmers chose the fall to apply anhydrous to spread the workload from the busy period and also to take advantage of generally lower fertilizer prices compared to the spring, he said.
"What makes fall applications of anhydrous ammonia risky are unknown weather conditions that may lead to N loss before spring," Luke said.
Luke said there are a few steps to lower the risk of leaching or denitrification.
First, only apply anhydrous after soil temperatures have reached 50 degrees Fahrenheit and are falling. Secondly, be sure to use a nitrification inhibitor. While they cannot eliminate nitrification completely, inhibitors help to keep it in the immobile ammonium form until it is ready to be used by the crop, he said.
Luke also recommended always make sure soil conditions are right and that N is not being lost to volatilization at application. Lastly, do not apply all the N in the fall that you are planning to use for next year's crops.
"Think of a fall application as insurance that N will be available early for the 2018's corn, but plan to supplement additional N to meet your growing needs," he advised.