Nutrien Senior Agronomist Dr. Alan Blaylock recently joined Chip Flory on AgriTalk to talk about ESN Smart Nitrogen. Press play on the recording with Chip Flory and Dr. Alan Blaylock or read through the discussion below.
Let’s talk ESN but start simple for me—what is ESN?
Very simply, ESN is a polymer-coated urea. We encapsulate urea inside this polymer that serves as a barrier to protect that nitrogen and meter it out to the crop as it’s needed.
ESN is an enhanced-efficiency fertilizer, how is it different from other categories of EEFs?
Most of the other enhanced-efficiency fertilizers, or we use the acronym EEFs, are chemical additives, such as nitrification inhibitors or urease inhibitors—those chemicals help regulate some of the chemical processes that nitrogen undergoes in the soil, where ESN is a physical barrier that actually meters the nitrogen out over a period of time. Because ESN is encapsulated and it’s only releasing a little bit at a time every day as it’s feeding nitrogen to the crop, it greatly reduces the exposure to those loss events. Like a big rainfall event may cause leaching, or ponding that causes denitrification, volatilization from the surface. So, because it’s encapsulated and that nitrogen is released only a small amount at a time, it greatly reduces all of those different losses.
What are the specific crops that ESN performs the best on?
ESN was initially targeted at corn but it’s used on any crop where nitrogen management is important when we have nitrogen losses. So, wheat, canola, cotton, potatoes—any of those things are good fits.