Controlled release: caring for canola’s unique nitrogen needs.

Aside from water, nitrogen (N) is typically the biggest limiting factor when it comes to canola production. This is because canola is somewhat of a Goldilocks when it comes to how much N it needs; too much or too little N, combined with challenges such as fluctuating temperature or soil moisture levels can produce a variety of results leading to poor yield.

Here are three ways controlled release nitrogen can better care for canola’s unique nitrogen needs compared to conventional N sources alone:

1. Seed Row and Seed-placed Nitrogen

Safely seed-placing N for canola crops can be tricky. Young canola can be easily damaged by both the salt effect and direct toxicity from conventional N sources. ESN provides a physical barrier between the seed and the urea within the flexible polymer coating. As such, up to three times seed row safety can be achieved when using ESN as opposed to urea or ammonium sulfate nitrogen sources.

2. Healthy Crop Maturity

Canola’s ability to mature properly can be limited according to how much N is available to it during the growing season. Too much N availability can prevent canola from maturing in a timely manner, making it susceptible to emergence or fall frost damage. By using a product such as ESN that intelligently prevents too much N from being made available to the plant, you can avoid this potential complication.

3. Moisture

Being that N significantly affects plant growth, too much water and N early in the season can result in a plant that grows big leaves fast. But excess vegetative growth can also deplete soil moisture leading to greater moisture stress during grain fill. Furthermore, yields can be hampered due to complications from the dense canopy and lodging brought on by excessive N. Controlling the rate of N supply with a controlled release product like ESN can help increase N-use efficiency by protecting most N from loss until the period of rapid crop uptake.

Hitting the sweet spot when it comes to N fertilizer with canola crops can be a delicate balance, especially when poor yield can easily result from too much or too little N. By incorporating an intelligent release N source such as ESN, instead of just conventional N sources alone, you can more conveniently maximize your canola production yield.

For ESN use recommendations and application rates on canola, visit