Loveland, Co. (October 3, 2013) – Weather can cause delays and challenges with spring nitrogen (N) applications, so fall applications of N can help eliminate many of those issues. With ESN® SMART NITROGEN®, farmers can apply all of their N in the fall and not have to worry about another application in the spring.

ESN, made by Agrium Advanced Technologies (AAT), is a controlled-release fertilizer consisting of a urea granule encapsulated in a polyurethane coating. This allows the nitrogen to release from the granule at a rate controlled by moisture and soil temperature, providing continuous feeding of nitrogen when the plant needs it most. This continuous feeding makes ESN a great option for growers where fall N applications are recommended.

“We recommend fall applications for areas where the soil stays frozen during the winter, like Western Canada and the U.S. Northern Plains,” says Dr. Alan Blaylock, AAT Agronomy Manager. “Fall ESN application timing should follow recommendations for anhydrous ammonia — apply when soil temperatures are below 50 degrees F.”

Fall application of ESN can provide benefits for a number of crops. Corn is one example. Growers in the Northern Corn Belt can have a complete fertilization by blending ESN with phosphorous (P) and potassium (K).

“Fall application of ESN can help eliminate spring fertilization and planting delays,” says Blaylock. “ESN is an excellent nitrogen choice for fall strip-till applications. In addition, ESN is a complete controlled-release fertilizer and requires no messy additives.”

Fall-applied ESN should be incorporated or subsurface banded and not left on the soil surface over winter. Fall ESN application is not recommended where fall N application is not appropriate, such as sandy soils, soils that do not stay frozen through winter, or areas prone to high spring leaching or denitrification losses.

For farmers who don’t want to handle anhydrous ammonia, ESN can save horsepower and trips across the field, and perform as well or better than anhydrous ammonia, when applications are appropriate. Corn isn’t the only crop to benefit from ESN. ESN is also a natural fit for winter wheat in the Northern Plains and Western Canada. One application of ESN at wheat planting can provide all your N needs and protect your N investment.

“ESN protects N from leaching, volatilization and denitrification and allows you to apply the entire crop’s N needs at planting without worry of N loss through the winter,” says Blaylock. “In addition, ESN allows you to eliminate spring N applications saving fuel, time and money. ESN also increases the potential for greater yields and profits.”

Winter wheat growers who like to apply fertilizer with the seed at planting like the extra crop safety ESN provides. The protective coating on ESN allows farmers to apply N with the seed at up to three times the seed-safe rate of urea. Seed-placed ESN has increased wheat yields by as much as 7 bushels/acre over conventional urea.

Being able to apply your N in the fall is just one way ESN provides flexibility for growers. Besides fall applications, ESN can be applied in a single pre-plant application or top- or sidedressed, depending on weather, field conditions and limited time, allowing growers to implement their preferred management system. Because ESN protects N from loss, it is easily adaptable to many N management programs and application timings.

“Traditional management practices call for farmers to minimize the amount of time N is sitting in the soil, but when you protect N from loss, it allows for more flexibility of application,” says Blaylock. “ESN is like a small storage facility for the N, protecting it until the appropriate time for the crop to use the N. The technology regulates the release of N at the proper time.”


About Agrium Advanced Technologies

Agrium Advanced Technologies is a strategic business unit of Agrium Inc., a major retail supplier of agricultural products and services in both North and South America and a leading global producer and marketer of agricultural nutrients and industrial products. Agrium Advanced Technologies is the leading manufacturer and marketer of slow- and controlled-release fertilizers and micronutrients in the agriculture, professional turf and ornamental, consumer lawn and garden, and specialty agriculture markets. Agrium Advanced Technologies' brands include: ESN®, DURATION AG®, POLYON®, XCU®, NITROFORM®, NUTRALENE®, DURATION CR®, and SPREADIT & FORGET IT® slow- and controlled-release fertilizers, and AMP™Micronutrients.