Should you fall apply ESN?

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Weather plays a major role in the efficiency, profitability and overall success of your farm. Spring brings hectic schedules, volatile weather and sometimes unfavorable soil conditions.

Fall typically allows for more time and resources to prepare for the following growing season, as well as lower instances of unpredictable weather. One job you can take care of in the fall is managing your nitrogen. Where applicable, fall application of fertilizer can reduce your spring workload and give your crops a head start. A blend of ESN with P and K fertilizers offers one complete fertility package.

According to Doug Sibbitt, ESN Marketing Representative, there are several benefits to applying nitrogen in the fall. “Growers in many areas should aim to get ESN in the fields in the fall at about the same time the anhydrous ammonia tends to be applied. This allows crops to have it early on in the spring,” Sibbitt said. ESN goes into a dormant state when applied in the fall and won’t start releasing nitrogen until the ground warms up in the spring. You can plan for nitrogen to release an average of about 50 to 80 days. “This gives growers peace of mind, knowing that with all the things they have to worry about in the springtime, getting their nitrogen out there is not one of them,” Sibbitt said.

Can I fall apply?

Studies have shown that ESN is a great choice for fall application ahead of spring-planted corn in states such as Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota. It has also been effective in the Great Plains and Western Canada for winter and spring wheat and canola. Fall ESN application for forage grasses in the southern states has proven exceptionally successful as well.

Fall application of nitrogen, including ESN, is not recommended in sandy soils, or high rainfall areas where soils do not stay frozen through the winter. If fall-applied ammonia is not an acceptable practice in your area, fall-applied ESN would be considered similarly risky.

Why ESN?

ESN makes nitrogen available when the crop needs it most, which can boost yields by an average of 5 to 10 percent and up to as much as 30 percent. Nitrogen in fall-applied ESN is able to remain inside its polymer coating until spring thaw as it releases in response to soil temperature. When your plants are ready for nitrogen, ESN will be there.

For more information about Nutrien’s ESN Smart Nitrogen, click here.