When you’re growing in semi-arid areas or facing a low-rainfall year, the last thing your crops need is excess nitrogen consuming what little soil moisture remains. Unfortunately, with most nitrogen fertilizers, that’s exactly what happens. It has been demonstrated in studies that excess nitrogen during the vegetative growth stage can decrease yields in canola and cereal grains.
Luckily, you have options to avoid this – a Canadian study in canola showed that ESN had a clear advantage in severe drought conditions. Thanks to its polymer coating, the N supply available to crops was controlled, reducing the impact of N on early vegetative growth. Urea, even when combined with urease and nitrification inhibitors, did not provide the same advantage because they did nothing to regulate the supply of N available to the crop. The study also showed that the greater the moisture stress, the greater the benefit of using ESN. A study in 2015 showed that in “50-year drought” conditions, ESN out yielded urea by 37 bu/acre.
We are experiencing abnormally dry conditions in Western Canada; should they persist through the winter, soil moisture and water supplies will surely be impacted come spring, making ESN the best way to prepare for unpredictable spring conditions.
As a controlled-release product, ESN releases its nitrogen in response to conditions that trigger plant growth, so it protects nitrogen through dry stretches. ESN is different from some other enhanced efficiency fertilizers (EEFs) because it works by a unique mode of action, providing benefits for a longer time than is typical for inhibitors and stabilizers. Crops get the nitrogen they need when they need it.
Want to learn about how ESN works in dry conditions? Read more here.
Want to see how much ESN could improve your ROI? Click here.