20 Years of ESN: The Smart Growers

This year we’re celebrating 20 years of helping growers satisfy their crops’ nitrogen needs with ESN® SMART NITROGEN®. Using ESN in their operation has been key for over a decade for some growers—and they’re happy to talk all about the benefits.

We heard from three growers from Indiana, Tennessee and Saskatchewan to learn why ESN has been part of their nutrient management plan for years.


Kyle Brown, Indiana:

Kyle farms corn on the majority of his 8,000 acres across six counties in Indiana. “We started using ESN ten years ago, but we’ve used it as a huge part of our operation I’d say the last three years,” says Kyle. “ESN has helped us the last four or five years we’ve had wet springs. ESN allows us to get more acres done faster through wetter conditions, and then when those heavy rains come, all your nitrogen is not exposed – you’re still safe in the form that it’s in.”

ESN’s polymer coated granule protects the N and helps to reduce nutrient losses in wet conditions, as Kyle has seen in his fields during the rainy years.

Kyle is a big advocate of ESN. He explains the return growers can achieve from using it as their choice of nitrogen, saying “ESN absolutely offers us a good return on investment – it is the best investment of nitrogen you can make. There is a little premium to ESN but when you figure the ease of use and the net effect of the bushels that you gain, it’s a no contest.”


Conrad Powers, Tennessee:

Conrad farms in Bolivar, Tennessee, growing corn, cotton, soybeans and wheat on 6,500 acres. They farm on a variety of soils, so finding the right nitrogen to work with the various soil types is important. “We first started using ESN around ten or twelve years ago. We were looking for another nitrogen source that would stay with us a little longer. We have a bad problem around here, getting a lot of rain in the spring—it’ll leach out,” says Conrad. “ESN is still basically laying on the ground after you get big rains, you can go out there and find the little prills still laying there where you spread them out.”

The consistent rate at which ESN provides nitrogen to the crop is what Conrad prefers about it. “It steadily feeds the crop so instead of running out of nitrogen, you’re feeding the crop what it wants, when it needs it.”

“I definitely recommend using ESN,” says Conrad. “It’s good value for the money and you can save the extra application trip if you want, by putting it out at one time instead of splitting your applications.”


John Bergen, Manitoba:

John farms 3,500 acres of oats, canola, soybeans and corn near Carman, Manitoba. “We’ve had an extremely dry and hot year this year—below normal precipitation, above normal heat,” explains John. “I started using ESN after I found I had some issues in spring where the fertilizer I applied in fall seemed to have leached due to spring runoff.”

John appreciates the benefits of ESN in years when the weather is less cooperative. “Certain years with adverse conditions you’re definitely going to see a yield bump and better production, you’re not going to see that nitrogen disappear.”

“If someone asked me about ESN, I’d say it’s something you definitely need to try,” says John. “It’s going to be just as good, if not better, than what you’re using currently, and if the environmental conditions are not favorable, you know you’ve got that insurance that your fertilizer isn’t moving.”


Growers across Canada and the United States have been relying on ESN® SMART NITROGEN® for years as their go-to nitrogen source. ESN will give your crops the right amount of nitrogen it needs, at the right time. Learn more about how ESN works here.

To hear from more growers across North America, click here.

How long have you been using ESN? Tweet us @SmartNitrogen and let us know!