ESN Increases Productivity Under Moisture Stress

British Columbia
Canola ESN drought benefit v2-2


Nitrogen rate was 60lbs N/acre. Banded treatments were applied at planting in a band three inches from the seedrow and four inches deep. Broadcast treatments were broadcast just before planting. Site-years were planted May 2014, July 2014 and May 2015 at Fort Vermillion, AB. Source: Mackenzie Applied Reasearch Assoc.

Canola and cereal grains are often grown in semi-arid areas of limited rainfall with significant moisture stress. It has been demonstrated in previous studies that under limited moisture, excess nitrogen (N) supply during vegetative growth can decrease yields by consuming soil moisture and leaving less moisture for grain production.

This Canadian canola study demonstrated a significant ESN advantage in severe drought by controlling N supply and early vegetative growth. Urea combined with urease and nitrification inhibitors did not provide the same advantage because they do not regulate N supply to the crop.

  • ESN produced consistently high yields under moisture stress, sometimes severe stress, for all three site-years averaging 16 bu/acre more than urea and 7-8 bu/acre more than urea with Agrotain or Super U.
  • The greater the moisture stress, the greater the benefit of ESN. In 2015, a “50-year drought”, ESN outyielded urea by 37 bu/acre.
  • Broadcast treatments of urea with Agrotain and Super U performed poorly relative to all banded treatments.