AAT Agronomists Host ESN Smart Nitrogen Tour

Agrium Advanced Technologies (AAT) agronomists recently hosted the first annual Research and Demonstration Tour created to increase awareness around the successes occurring in a variety of crops using ESN SMART NITROGEN as a part of their nitrogen management program.

Tour stops included Mississippi State University (MSU) in Stoneville, MS; an ag retailer in Drew, MS; and the University of Arkansas Lon Mann Cotton Research Station (LMCRS) in Marianna, AR. Participants were able to walk through the research plots and speak with the scientists conducting the various studies.

Researchers at MSU are testing ESN on a variety of crops, including cotton, corn and soybeans, and monitoring effectiveness under different conditions. While yield results for this year’s crops are not yet available, ESN-fertilized crops appear to be more vigorous. For example, ESN-fertilized corn ears were larger and more filled.

The research in Stoneville has been conducted since 2011 by Dr. Bobby Golden, who also studied ESN at the University of Arkansas as a Ph.D. student. At Stoneville, he has been studying ESN use in cotton, corn and soybeans — comparing ESN with competitor products. At this location, participants saw first-hand how changes in rates, timing of application and blends can affect crop performance.

“In general, over the last couple years, ESN has performed well on cotton and corn in Mississippi. On corn, ESN applied at planting provides a yield increase when compared with top-dressed urea,” says Dr. Golden. “For cotton, we are seeing very similar yields when comparing ESN to urea. However, ESN appears to be providing a slight bump in cotton quality measures that may provide a premium. Our soybean work is just in the initial stages, and we hope to have some information in the near future.”

The stop in Drew, MS, featured a corn demonstration developed by a local ag retailer designed to address specific customer needs. The retailer wanted local data on corn so that he could confidently recommend ESN to his customers. ESN was side-dressed on corn, and compared with a conventional program utilizing two side-dress applications of nitrogen. The retailer now plans to use these locations to train sales staff and teach customers about ESN for corn production.

The LMCRS in Marianna, AR, was the last stop on the tour. Dr. Morteza Mozaffari shared his experience with ESN on corn and cotton. Corn fertilized with ESN has produced significantly higher yields than conventional urea during the past two years. ESN-treated plots were visibly greener and appeared to have greater yield potential than standard nitrogen sources.

“The results from the past two years suggest that pre-plant, incorporated ESN is a suitable alternative to standard pre-plant urea,” says Dr. Mozaffari. “The Tour was a huge success,” says Dr. Alan Blaylock, AAT Agronomy Manager. “It was an opportunity for participants to experience how ESN is working in different situations, as well as gain more knowledge about how to best use ESN with various crops. Plans are underway for a similar tour next year.”

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