Study: ESN Protects N, Feeds Crops In Wet Or Dry Weather

Weather may be the biggest variable for a corn crop, but with ESN SMART NITROGEN, farmers can count on consistent yields in wet or dry years.

ESN, made by Agrium Advanced Technologies (AAT) is a controlled-release fertilizer, consisting of a ureagranule encapsulated in a polyurethane coating. This allows the N to release from the granule into the soil, driven by temperature and moisture. The higher the soil temperature, the greater the release of N, so release occurs during the growing season, when the plant needs it most.

“One of the biggest challenges farmers face with their N management programs is the unpredictable nature of weather that can lead to N loss,” says Dr. Alan Blaylock, AAT Agronomy Manager. “ESN provides a more reliable yield response because it reduces the yield loss associated with N loss.”

Research Shows Consistent Yield In Diverse Conditions

Research has shown ESN produces a consistent yield response in a variety of years with very different rainfall conditions, while performance of conventional N sources varies widely from year to year. ESN has shown the yield consistency in a variety of geographies and on a number of different soil types that can present different N management challenges.

Dr. Kelly Nelson, research associate professor at the University of Missouri, has worked with ESN on the claypan soils of Northeast Missouri since 2004. This research has shown gaseous N loss through denitrification loss as the major challenge with urea applications to poorly drained claypan soils.

“ESN can help combat this, because the slow-release properties mimic a side-dress application of N andprovide a steady supply of N throughout the growing season,” says Nelson. “The physical coating protects the urea prill during weather conditions that are favorable for denitrification loss.”

Nelson says that ESN has shown consistent yields in a variety of weather conditions over the years. He adds that ESN also performs consistently well in high-risk areas of the field.

Going from claypan soils to the sandy soils of Nebraska, Dr. Richard Ferguson, soil fertility specialist at the University of Nebraska, has worked with ESN under a variety of conditions.

In three successive years, Ferguson conducted field studies with extreme weather conditions conducive to N loss. In those years, ESN proved to be significantly better than other sources of N, showing as much as 60-80 bu/acre yield increases over UAN solutions with no inhibitors used.

“ESN has protected N from multiple loss conditions, like leaching and volatilization, while many other methods protect against only one form of loss,” says Ferguson. “By keeping N out of the nitrate form in significant quantities, ESN’s gradual release allows more of the N to be available to the crop.”

Ferguson has also conducted lab incubation studies comparing ESN to other fertilizer applications and replicating challenging weather and soil conditions. In both the field studies and the incubation studies, ESN has shown a very predictable response across varying moisture conditions, says Ferguson.

AAT research confirms the assertion that ESN shows consistent corn yields over time.

“We have hundreds of crop-years of data on ESN, showing better uniformity of yield over time, regardless of weather and soil type,” says Blaylock.

ESN’s Continuous Feeding Helps Crops Endure Dry Weather

Nitrogen loss is less of a concern in dry weather, but that doesn’t mean farmers won’t see value from using ESN, even in dry years.

Controlling the rate of N supply helps prevent “luxury growth” of leaf area, says Blaylock. When corn plants grow more leaf area, the plant consumes more of the soil moisture. This can be a concern in dry years, because that soil moisture may be depleted prior to the reproductive stage, when it will be needed for grain fill.

“ESN provides continuous feeding of N that allows the plant to conserve more moisture for grain fill,” says Blaylock.

ESN Prevents N Loss In Wet Weather

Wet seasons threaten N through two major loss mechanisms: leaching and denitrification. In porous soils, watermoves N past the root zone where it can’t feed the corn plant, and potentially into ground and surface water.

Excessively wet soils with less permeability may be prone to denitrification, by which bacteria convert nitrate-nitrogen into gases that can escape into the atmosphere.

“Farmers see the greatest benefits from using ESN when N loss is significant,” says Blaylock. “In some cropping systems, where soils are prone to N loss, farmers may be over-applying N to compensate for the losses. By using ESN, farmers can protect more N from loss, and potentially save money on the front-end, by improving their nitrogen management.”

Protecting Farmers N Investment

AAT believes in the 4Rs of Nutrient Stewardship. The concept of applying the right nutrient source at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place has been related to agricultural sustainability.

“Managing N takes a lot of guesswork for a farmer — knowing how much to apply and when— and there is always a risk that environmental conditions could negatively impact crop performance,” says Blaylock. “ESN reduces that risk and removes variability, which could allow farmers to do a better job of managing their N budgets.”

Ultimately, the consistency of yields means more economic gains for farmers.

“Yield consistency really means farmers are eliminating the years of down yields by eliminating variations in N,” says Blaylock. “Using ESN to get more consistent yields puts more money in farmers’ pockets.”

Leave a Reply

Fertilizer Stories

FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
Aerial view of the West Fertilizer explosion site
FertilizerFertilizer Companies Blame City For West, TX, Explosion
August 6, 2014
El Dorado Chemical Co. and CF Industries contend the city failed to properly train the first responders and had insufficient protocols in place to battle the April 17, 2013, blaze at West Fertilizer Co. that triggered the explosion. Read More
FertilizerThe Fertilizer Institute: New President, Renewed Energy
February 3, 2014
Chris Jahn relishes the opportunity to lead the organization through the challenging times ahead. Read More
FertilizerA New Cycle For Fertilizer Demand
January 2, 2014
Changes in the corn market could have a major impact on the crop nutrients sector in 2014, say experts. Read More

Trending Articles

FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More
EquipmentNew Holland Acquires Miller-St. Nazianz
September 3, 2014
The assets of Miller acquired as part of the transaction will become part of New Holland Agriculture, a CNH Industrial brand, building on a successful four-year partnership between the two companies. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires East Kansas Chemical
September 2, 2014
Ranked 82nd on the CropLife 100, East Kansas Chemical will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
MAGIE 2014 ShowStopper
EquipmentJohn Deere Again Wins MAGIE ShowStopper Award
August 25, 2014
For the second consecutive year, John Deere was honored at the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) for its new R4045 sprayer. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science Review
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More

Latest News

Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
Many new products were introduced to the ag retail marketplace this year. From this group, CropLife IRON and its consulting partners have selected five finalists for the Product of the Year award. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Crowd Tops 2013 Show
September 19, 2014
The 52nd annual Ohio State University Farm Science Review welcomed more than 130,000 farmers, industry professionals, FFA students and agricultural enthusiasts during the three-day event. Read More
Seed/BiotechUSDA Approves Enlist Following Rigorous Review
September 18, 2014
Dow AgroSciences now awaits EPA registration of Enlist Duo herbicide, the companion herbicide to the Enlist traits, which is expected in the near future. Read More
BlendersYargus Appoints New Plant Manager
September 18, 2014
Steve Shaffer will direct and coordinate daily operations at the company’s Marshall, IL, manufacturing plant, where the Layco line of material handling equipment is produced. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Acquires Kansas-Based Cedar Ridge Supply
September 16, 2014
Cedar Ridge Supply will operate as part of Pinnacle's Performance Agriculture brand. Read More
StewardshipSecretary Vilsack Highlights Innovative Conservation Ef…
September 15, 2014
Nearly $16 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIGs) will be awarded to 47 organizations to help develop cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Responds To Cargill Lawsuit
September 15, 2014
Syngenta believes that the lawsuit is without merit and strongly upholds the right of growers to have access to approved new technologies. Read More
Equipment2014 Farm Science Review Launches Mobile App
September 15, 2014
Smartphone and tablet users planning on attending the 2014 Farm Science Review can now download this year’s customized mobile application. Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Grower Sets Georgia Soybean Yield …
September 15, 2014
Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy's soybeans yielded an astonishing 110.66 bushels per acre, crushing the previous record of 82 bushels-per-acre. Read More
NIMITZ Treated vs Untreated pepper plant
InsecticidesNIMITZ Nematicide Approved By EPA
September 12, 2014
NIMITZ is a novel, non-fumigant nematicide with simplified application features, user safety and an active ingredient with a unique mode of action. Read More
InsecticidesMarrone Bio Innovations Receives Patent For Chromobacte…
September 11, 2014
The patent is the first step for MBI in developing a commercially viable product to inhibit infestations of corn rootworm larvae across America and other regions. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences: Keeping The Pipeline Stocked
September 11, 2014
Dow AgroSciences is embracing product diversity to drive the company’s future. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Is Official Partner Of New St. Paul Ballpark
September 10, 2014
The new ballpark in St. Paul, MN, officially became CHS Field with Twin Cities-based CHS Inc. revealed as the naming rights partner. Read More
EquipmentHagie Honors Farming Stewardship Leaders
September 10, 2014
The Iowa Farm Environmental Leader award recognizes Iowa farmers as environmental leaders that are committed to healthy soils and improved water quality. Read More
Precision AgPlantBeat: Your Plants’ Pulse In The Palm Of Your Han…
September 10, 2014
A new agronomic monitoring and recommendation service from Phytech could rewrite the book on real-time plant health status monitoring. Read More
StewardshipCCAs Making Headway With 4R Program In Lake Erie Wester…
September 9, 2014
Certified Crop Advisers are implementing the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification program in Lake Erie's Western Basin to improve water quality. Read More
MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
Crop InputsFMC Announces Cheminova Takeover
September 8, 2014
FMC Corporation today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cheminova, a wholly owned subsidiary of Auriga Industries. Read More