The 4Rs of nutrient management – right source, right rate, right time and right place – were developed to help growers and agronomists set best management practices (BMPs) for their farms’ nutrient strategies. These practices serve as a guide when evaluating fertilizer decisions, and many retailers have seen the positive effects of 4R implementation, specifically with ESN® SMART NITROGEN®.
The right fertilizer source is a crucial first step to following best management practices on-farm. By matching the fertilizer type to the needs of the crop, soil and climate, growers can ensure they’re getting maximum benefit and minimum loss from their chosen fertilizer.
Blair Mutcher with Nutrien Ag Solutions in Carman, Manitoba, has found ESN to be the ideal nitrogen choice for the high-moisture, leaching-prone soils of his region.
“The environmental part of ESN is fantastic,” Mutcher says. “Here in the Red River Valley, we do get a lot of leaching, and wet springs and summers where we get a tremendous amount of rain. If we can hold the nitrogen in the soil, available to the plant, we just do not get the runoff that we would with a straight nitrogen product.”
Utilizing soil tests and the advice of your crop input partners can help ensure the proper rate of nutrients for your fields. With ESN, you won’t have to over-apply or apply multiple times throughout the season to account for loss. You also have the flexibility to apply without having to wait for rain in the forecast to hedge against volatilization.
“I think the number one factor that a grower looks at when choosing a nitrogen fertilizer is volatility,” says Bill Bailey, a senior sales representative with Nutrien Ag Solutions in Grenada, Mississippi. “In the south where it’s very hot and humid, we tend to lose a lot of our fertilizer, so volatility is the main thing farmers want to look at.”
“As soon as we heard about ESN, my farmers started using it. The results so far have been outstanding,” Bailey adds.
The “right time” pillar is all about making nutrients available when your crops need them. Since ESN’s polymer membrane allows moisture to diffuse into the granule at a rate controlled by soil temperature, N is made available to the plant during peak growing seasons when it’s most needed.
“ESN is a product that, when we put it in the field, we know it will be there when the crop needs it,” Mutcher says. “The steady delivery of nitrogen on crops is very beneficial. If you’re using straight 46-0-0 product, [the crop is] getting too much at the start and not enough at the end, whereas the ESN delivers throughout the whole season and just makes it healthier for the plant.”
Keep nutrients where your crop can use them. A nitrogen source that limits potential losses through nutrient movement adds up to more yield and more return on your investment.
While specific use recommendations vary by crop, trials have shown success with both surface-applied and incorporated ESN. Find your specific application recommendation based on crop and region here.
The 4Rs for your farm
How should you develop your own 4Rs and best management practices? Consult your agronomist, conduct regular soil tests, and benchmark year-over-year to ensure your plants are getting the right nutrients, at the right rate, at the right time, in the right place.
To learn how ESN works, click here.
For more information on how ESN reduces nitrogen loss, click here.
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