Smart Nitrogen Management for Barley

Barley is sensitive to timing and amount of nitrogen applied. Too little nitrogen early in the growing season can reduce yields, while too much nitrogen after heading can increase vegetative growth, increase lodging potential and increase protein to unacceptable levels.

The following three research trials demonstrate why ESN is the smart nitrogen choice for your barley crop.


ESN is the Smart Nitrogen for Malting Barley

Location: Eastern Idaho

Researcher: Dr. B. Hopkins, Brigham Young University


A multi-year Idaho study demonstrated that proper nitrogen rates and ESN blends with urea can increase barley yields while maintaining proper grain protein content.

  • A 50:50 ESN:urea blend increased yields by 6 to 7 bu/acre over urea alone.
  • A 50:50 ESN:urea blend increased barley profit by $22.00 to $23.50 per acre over urea alone.
  • Grain protein was not significantly affected by nitrogen treatments and was at acceptable levels for all nitrogen treatments.
  • A 75:25 ESN:urea blend may not have provided sufficient early season nitrogen for top yields as yields were generally lower for this treatment.


ESN Is the Smart Nitrogen for Top Barley Yields and Profits

Location: Idaho 

Researcher: Farmer trial


A trial in Idaho shows the value and flexibility of ESN Smart Nitrogen in malt barley production near Sun Valley. A 50:50 blend of ESN and urea out-yielded conventional urea applications. Figures below show yield gains observed in this farmer trial.

  • A pre-plant application of ESN and urea increased malt barley yields by 7 bu/acre over a single application of urea.
  • At $6.80/bu for malt barley, profit increase from a 50:50 blend of ESN and urea is $37/acre more than urea alone.
  • Average protein from the ESN blend was only 12.1 percent, allowing the best return on your investment.


ESN is the Smart Nitrogen to Manage Early Season Vegetative Growth Barley

Location: Melfort, Saskatchewan

Researcher: Agriculture and Agri-Food scientists


Research trials conducted in Melfort, SK evaluated the use of ESN nitrogen on the production of barley compared to urea. Scientists compared rate, placement and time of application for the two nitrogen products.

Excessive early season nitrogen availability often leads to increased vegetative growth, increased lodging potential and reduced yield. ESN can be used to manage early season nitrogen availability, providing only what the crop requires at the time it is needed. The following results were observed in this trial:

  • Early season vegetative growth was reduced when the nitrogen source was applied as ESN.
  • Final barley yield was increased whether ESN was fall or spring applied, as compared to urea.


ESN continually outperforms urea in research trials. Whether you’re growing barley for malt, food, or feed, contact your local ESN rep to get application recommendations specific to your variety and geography.