Should I fall apply ESN?

Weather plays a major role in the efficiency, profitability and overall success of your farm. As you know, spring often brings the challenges of hectic schedules, volatile weather conditions and 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 – provided you are in an area where fall application is an appropriate practice – is managing your nitrogen.

Why fall apply?

Fall application allows growers to eliminate spring fertilization and planting delays and blend ESN with P and K fertilizers for one complete fertility package.

Doug Sibbitt, National Account Manager for Nutrien, says there are several benefits to applying your 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.”

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 says.

Who should fall apply?

Studies have proven that ESN is a great choice for fall nitrogen application ahead of spring-planted corn in the northwestern corn belt, such as MinnesotaIowa, and North Dakota, as well as in Western Canada and the Great Plains for winter or spring wheat and canola. Fall ESN application for winter forage grasses in the southern states has proven exceptionally successful.

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, as nitrogen is prone to winter or early spring leaching. If fall-applied ammonia is not an acceptable practice in your area, fall-applied ESN would be considered similarly risky.

Why ESN?

ESN makes N available when the crop needs it most, which can boost yields by an average of 5 to 10 percent – 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.

To learn more about the benefits of fall fertilization, click here.

To speak to your local ESN representative about if fall application is right for your farm, click here.

For questions and comments, tweet us @SmartNitrogen.