ESN Full Steam Ahead

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ESN Facility

Developing the process has been 20 years in the making, but Agrium‘s ESN polymer-coated slow release nitrogen fertilizer is ready for prime-time in production agriculture — and is now being made in quantities to satisfy a growing demand for the product. 

In July, Agrium cut the ribbon on its expanded ESN production facility in Carseland, AB, raising its total manufacturing capacity to 150,000 tons — the largest in the world. The additional production capacity comes just in time for Agrium, which has seen a significant increase in demand for the product, and will be realizing increased product distribution potential this fall and beyond as it fully integrates the former Royster-Clark organization.

A Long Battle

Improving nitrogen efficiency is a battle that’s been fought for decades in the Heartland both for economic and environmental reasons. Agrium’s ESN technology is one answer to the demands of the market, providing controlled release that matches the key environmental triggers for plant use of nitrogen — temperature and moisture.

ESN features a semipermeable polymer coating that allows water to enter the urea granule and dissolve the nitrogen. The release rate is then controlled by soil temperature, releasing more as the temperature increases, a process that matches the plants’ growth pattern and nutrient needs.

ESN is available through more than 175 retail locations in the U.S. Corn Belt. Growth of ESN has been as “slow release” as the product itself due to target marketing, says Todd Denzin, diversified products sales manager.

“We have never forced ESN into the market,” he explains. “We brought ESN out slowly. We worked closely with the land grant universities, retailers, and growers to prove ESN’s effectiveness. Fertilizer retailers want to be confident what they are selling works for their growers, and our approach allowed them the time they needed to gain confidence in the product.

“We are helping growers reduce nitrogen loss, improve yields, and save valuable time while protecting the environment,” adds Denzin.

For more information on ESN technology, visit www.agrium.com and click on the ESN icon. 

Schrimpf is the Group Editor for the CropLife Media Group at Meister Media Worldwide, with full editorial responsibility for CropLife, CropLife IRON, Cotton Grower and PrecisionAg Special Reports.

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