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Hi all, I am just wondering if anyone else has had experience using ESN then going back to 46-0-0 for a nitrogen source and if you experienced a protein drop in your wheat? Last spring (2019) we went from a single shoot Flexicoil 5000 to a side band pillar hoe disc drill. In the past with the 5000, for about 10 years, we were using 80 percent ESN on our crops so as we could get the N we wanted down with the seed, 65lbs actual on cereals, 70 lbs actual on canola. 20 percent SBU. Last years (2018) CPS wheat proteins were in the 12 to 13.9 range with the ESN. This year (2019) bumping the N up to 75 actual on the ,CPS wheat proteins were 10.1 to 13.0. the 13.5 was on a manured field, the rest were 12 or under. Yields were actually less this year than last year as well the protein was down. It was and above ave year for moisture, (14 inches) but I was disappointed with the yields and proteins, especially since I was expecting higher yields with the sideband. Basically, we spent the same dollars per acre on N this year as we did last year as we bumped the actual up to 75# vs 65# with ESN. Looking at our yields and proteins, I am wondering if the drops were from switching out from ESN back to 46 or if this was or may have been due to the dry spring. I know the plant needs N later in the growth stage to bump the protein in the samples, so I am thinking that maybe we should be going back to ESN. I suppose also the smartest thing to do would be a side by side field trial. Thoughts???
 

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N goes to yield first and then to protein. If your protein is less than 14 or so, your yield did not reach full potential. above average year for rain, possibbly leached some of it.

split a field in 3 pieces, one with 46, one with ESN, and then a 50/50 (or whatever blend) and go from there.
 

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Dirtfarmer where are you located? You talk about protein but give no information on yield. This year when the protein was down was the yield up? The yield is as important to the nitrogen question as protein. If your yield was up this year that is why the protein was down. Your nitrogen rates of 65-75 lb are not high by any stretch. What are your yield goals for wheat? If there is a lot of moisture early in the growing season the nitrogen from urea can be lost especially then the soil is saturated for more than a week. With ESN we sometimes will just put 15 lbs of actual as ESN or a small percentage and the rest as urea. On dry years after seeding time especially with the last three years for us, the nitrogen applied has been very efficient and loss rates are low.
 

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Dirtfarmer, you mention protein was down and yield was down this year. I am not sure where you are farming, but if you have been getting good yields in the previous years, you may have been running on borrowed time. The amount of N you are putting down at least in my area would not support good yields and good protein. Did you do any soil tests to compare where your N is at. Also N is not the only nutrient you need to consider, plants also need at least some S the ratio varies to build protein and yield as well. As well you mention a lot of rain, depending on your soil type some may have leached as mentioned earlier, hard to say, and I cant comment on the esn versus straight urea havnt done it, some I am no help to you there.
 

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Another thing, dirtfarmer, is that you are comparing 2018 protein to 2019. Everyone in my area got lower protein this year and I bet it's a common problem on the prairies. If you want a true comparison of ESN vs urea on protein, you need to do a side by side trial in the same year.

Other comments about fert are valid too, but protein is down all around. We got about 500 growing degree days here, when the previous 5 years were all within the 640 to 670 range. I'm sure that has something to do with it.
 

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No problems with protein in my area as well. Dryland wheat was in the 16's. Have lots of N left in the soil as well. Drought will do that.
 

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For the price spread on ESN I will let others play with the science - seems expensive for something that flows better and has different color/smell. Liked the story behind Agrotain too and think I did enough with it and even the fancy Agrotain to not be convinced of results.

In higher moisture area we are in, environmental conditions seem to be as much of a factor in protein as amount of N. Variety may even be more important than kind of N. It was a very bad year for protein around here. However, this Spring did play around with liquid N and will be carrying on with it just to see if it as good an experience going forward - dribbling fert in the rain is much easier job than dealing with N in other ways. On small farm I only put down 43lbs actual N and that represented $50000 saving over amount of actual N that I would typically put down of dry on same acres. Visually there seemed to be very good response and yields seemed exceptional - too much for harvest conditions that never came this yr. Does not appear like my protein was any less than others on HRS - 12 was a very good protein in this area vs 14+ last yr and high 13's-mid 14 the year before.
 

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Did a side by side trial with Connery 50% esn had 14.3 protein, 0%esn had 12.2
Same seed date, same fert rate and had 32.5 in of rain, both were 74bu per acre
 

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Did a side by side trial with Connery 50% esn had 14.3 protein, 0%esn had 12.2
Same seed date, same fert rate and had 32.5 in of rain, both were 74bu per acre
That's well above normal rainfall, correct? Since the yields were the same but the protein differed, perhaps rainfall near and after flowering leached out a bunch of N?
 

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Yes, way above average rain. I assume the was leaching at some point. My yield was based on acres including drowned out areas there may have been a yield differential but hard to tell how much.
Will be replicating the trial next year and hope for more average conditions
 

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So probably on years with too much rain, ESN would probably pay. Pretty good yields, despite your rain! That's impressive. I'm sure I'd be lucky to get 50 under those conditions here.

We've been using ESN for a number of years now, usually putting down about 1/3 of our N with it, and we feel our wheat yields are much better. We farm irrigated land and we rarely get too much rain. We also start putting down shots of 28-0-0 the pivot starting right after herbicide.

Years ago we would apply nearly 2/3 of our N in the form of dibbled-on 28-0-0 before seeding, and fertigate the rest on. Our wheat yields were always very good and our protein levels were decent. Back then HRS didn't have as high of protein as now. Better varieties now? The point is that once we got an air drill, we switched to dry fertilizer, and used Urea as our N source, while still fertigating UAN. For about 10 years our wheat yields were disappointingly low. Where 90s were once obtainable, we were lucky to break 70. Once we started using ESN, our yields seem to have gone back where they used to be. We seem to average in the mid to high 80s, which is considered pretty good in this area (AFSC average for the area on irrigated HRS is around 70). We feel a large part of that return to good yields is from the ESN.
 

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Brian Tee did you see any yield difference with the ESN versus urea trial even though there was very little difference in protein?
 

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I think the advantages of using ESN have a lot to do with your soil types. We tried a mix of ESN and straight 46 for a few years in canola and wheat, zero yield or protein gain.
 

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ESN will start make a difference if all N is frontloaded , and on high yield goals in 12 inch plus rainfall scenario
 
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