Nitrogen for potatoes: 4 facts you need to know – and why ESN is the right choice for high performance potato farming

The proper use of nitrogen will make the difference between an average and a top-performing potato crop. Here are some important facts:

1. Timing is critical.

A potato crop consumes 60 to 80 per cent of its total N needs during tuber initiation and tuber bulking. Potatoes are sensitive to the timing and amount of N. If your crops don’t get adequate N at this critical stage yield and quality could suffer. How can you ensure your potato crop is getting the N it needs when it needs it? One answer is ESN® SMART NITROGEN, its polymer coating protects its nitrogen so it is released when plants need it most.

2. Over or under applying nitrogen has serious consequences.

Too much N can delay the maturity of potatoes. It has also been shown to reduce specific gravity and dry matter content while increasing prevalence of small brown spot and hollow hearts. Too little nitrogen can cause stunted growth, premature death of vines, lower yields and increased susceptibility to diseases such as early blight and Verticillium wilt. ESN releases its nitrogen gradually, in response to soil temperature, so your plants get the right amount of N.

3. Multiple applications of conventional N on potatoes may waste time and money.

Hoping to maximize yields and quality, many potato farmers will make multiple applications of conventional nitrogen in a season. However, in multiple studies1 a single, properly timed application of ESN produced significant increases in total and marketable yield over multiple applications of conventional nitrogen. A single ESN application can produce similar or greater yields than all those conventional applications. And that means big saving on your time, fuel, equipment, and labour.

4. You can reduce the risk of Nitrogen loss

Nitrogen is one of your most important and expensive inputs. N loss robs your plants of vital nutrients while wasting your nitrogen investment. Unfortunately, conventional N sources are highly susceptible to leaching, denitrification and volatilization. ESN, however, was designed to reduce N loss – its polymer coating protects against those loss mechanisms. And that’s good for your crops, your bank account and the environment.

Effective Nitrogen? That’s a Given.

Responsive Nitrogen? That’s Amazing!

ESN® SMART NITROGEN is a urea granule encapsulated in a flexible polymer coating that protects nitrogen from loss mechanisms and controls its release to match plant demand. We call it responsive because the rate at which ESN releases its nitrogen is regulated by soil temperature. It’s why crops really go for ESN – they get the nitrogen they need, when they need it.

1See studies here and here.