Handling, Blending and Applying ESN Smart Nitrogen

ESN Smart Nitrogen is engineered to deliver long-lasting, controlled release nitrogen across a wide range of growing conditions. But it needs to be handled, blended and applied properly to deliver maximum value and results to customers.

Handling and Blending

ESN’s polymer coating is built to withstand normal application stress, but it can become damaged by excessive handling. Because of this, Nutrien recommends that ESN is handled and blended as little as possible and added to the blender last to minimize physical wear. The following blending recommendations should be followed to maintain the quality of ESN granules:

  • Belt conveyors are preferred and the use of screw augers and drag chains should be minimized.
  • Belt angles should never exceed 18 degrees, and any belts exceeding 13 degrees should be cleated to prevent roll-back.
  • If augers are used, large diameters are preferred, as small diameter equipment can increase contact with moving parts.
  • All transfer equipment should be in good repair with minimal rust and scale.
  • To prevent wear on the ESN coating, excessive blending should be avoided, and blending times kept to the minimum needed for uniform mixing.
  • Inclined axis cement-mixer type blenders cause the lowest abrasion to ESN, followed by vertical auger blenders and horizontal auger blenders.
  • For horizontal auger blenders, ESN should be loaded into the last bin before blender exit to minimize auger contact.
  • Avoid using blenders to transfer ESN if blending is not needed.
  • If adding liquid chemicals to the blend, always use a drying agent to absorb excess liquid before using ESN.

Once ESN has been blended it is ready for application.

Applying ESN

Some of ESN’s physical properties vary from conventional fertilizers, making different spread patterns possible. Always calibrate application equipment with ESN to ensure accurate placement.

For proper distribution, all spreaders — whether they’re new or old, and both spinners and airflow — must be properly calibrated and adjusted for ESN and ESN blends. Never assume previous settings and operating conditions will produce the same distribution with ESN.

Remember that reducing air speeds in airflow spreaders can reduce the impact on deflector shields and if spinner spreaders are used, double spreading is highly recommended.

ESN blends exceptionally well with other dry fertilizers. To look up how much ESN you should include in your blend, try our new ESN Blending Recommendations tool. Simply select the crop you are growing, the region your farm is located, and the time you’re planning to apply ESN (spring, fall, pre-plant, top-dress, etc.) to see what percentage of ESN our agronomists recommend.

For more information, browse application recommendations by crop type or watch our ESN learning modules on use and handling recommendations.