See ESN Smart Nitrogen at Work on Potatoes Through Virtual Reality

Field tours provide valuable experiences for growers and retailers, from access to experts to the opportunity to see crop performance in a realistic field setting. Since it’s not possible for everyone to make it to a field demonstration, we’ve decided to bring the tour to you virtually.

In this ESN Virtual Farming Experience, Dr. Alan Blaylock, ESN Agronomist, discusses nitrogen utilization in potatoes and how they benefit from an enhanced-efficiency fertilizer. This trial, conducted at the University of Idaho Research and Extension Center in Aberdeen, tested different rates, application methods and timing of ESN as well as irrigation levels compared with conventional nitrogen. With 360 degrees of viewing, you can see the whole picture of ESN on potatoes in Eastern Idaho.

Here are three things (of many!) you’ll learn through this virtual experience:

1. Nitrogen management is especially challenging in potatoes

“Potatoes are a shallow-rooted crop that is very sensitive to the timing and amount of nitrogen supplied,” Blaylock explains. He adds that since potatoes are often grown in sandy soils and under irrigation, nitrogen loss with conventional nitrogen is quite common.

2. ESN technology gets nitrogen to potatoes when they need it

“By applying ESN at emergence in potatoes, we ensure that the release of nitrogen from ESN coincides with the development of vegetative growth and supplies nitrogen right through tuber initiation and into tuber bulking,” Blaylock says.

3. ESN helps protect against nitrogen loss caused by over-irrigation

In a side-by-side trial, Blaylock shows where two strips were intentionally over-irrigated – one with ESN and one with conventional urea as a nitrogen source. You’ll see how the plants treated with urea alone are showing signs of nitrogen deficiency, while the ESN-treated plants are green and healthy. This is because the ESN was able to stay in the root zone and not wash away.

Ready to watch? You can view from your desktop by clicking and dragging your mouse on the video to see the full 360-degrees, or watch in your favorite VR headset on VR mode.

Tweet us at @smartnitrogen and let us know what you thought of this ESN Virtual Farming Experience!