Where specialty nitrogen fits for canola

If you are a canola grower, you are most likely aware of the importance of nitrogen (N) when it comes to growing a successful canola crop.

According to the Canola Council of Canada, canola needs 2.9 to 3.5 pounds per acre of available N per bushel of yield.

Todd Latimer, senior marketing manager with Nutrien Ltd., says that N is one of the most limiting factors when it comes to canola production, as it is very easy to put either too much or too little on your canola crop. ESN Smart Nitrogen, he says, can help.

“ESN is essentially a polymer-coated urea, so it has that flexible polymer coating on it that really allows it to release and respond as the crop grows. It matches up perfectly with the growth curve of the crop itself,” he says. “Seed safety is another one of the bigger reasons why canola growers use it. Because of that polymer coating, it protects (the crop) from seed burn. We can use up to three times whatever your provincial guidelines are for urea (with the seed).”

Due to its slow-release polymer coating, coated nitrogen also provides a flexible application window, he says, allowing it to be put down in the spring or the fall.

“Especially with hybrids today, they have a little bit longer growing season, so they require a lot more nutrients than what we would’ve seen 10 to 20 years ago,” he says. “When you get to the later part of the season where it’s getting into that pod fill and critical timing, there’s still nitrogen there, because it’s releasing at that controlled rate. It’s there at the end of the season when you need it most.”

Producers can expect to add about 10% to their N cost if using ESN. N release is also temperature and moisture dependent, so when conditions are cool and dry, N release can be slowed. Also consider that when conditions are warm and wet, release can be nearly as fast as urea.

To learn more about the use of ESN Smart Nitrogen in your canola crop, check out Kara Oosterhuis in conversation with Todd Latimer below:

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