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Get the most out of your ESN with proper storage and handling techniques.

Reference: Nutrien ESN

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Get the most out of your ESN with proper storage and handling techniques.

Good storage and handling practices are just as important to success as ESN® application practices. Ensure your ESN granules are in great condition so they can deliver nitrogen when and where your crops need it.

Compared to conventional fertilizer, ESN has different considerations that must be applied when you are storing and handling it. As a rule of thumb, handle ESN with the same care as you would seed.

Best handling practices

Excessive handling is the greatest cause of damage to not only ESN, but most fertilizer types. ESN is designed to withstand normal handling practices, but improper practices can compromise the unique polymer coating. Make sure your equipment is in good repair and properly adjusted to handle ESN. If equipment has rust and scale build-up, it’s recommended to run several tons of other fertilizer through before ESN.

Belt conveyors are preferred for conveyance systems. Screw augers and drag chains aren’t recommended for ESN, but if used they should be run as full as possible and at slower speeds.

For loading and unloading, belt angle shouldn’t exceed 18 degrees.

Storage 101

The bin capacity of ESN will be less than conventional urea. It is usually around 75 percent of urea capacity. However, ESN weighs 48 pounds per cubic foot, which is approximately the same as urea. The angle of repose of ESN is also different when compared to urea. ESN is 19.6 degrees compared to 30 degrees for urea.

ESN can be stored longer than conventional fertilizers. It doesn’t absorb humidity from the air, so it won’t cake in your bins.

It’s also important to note that ESN is more fluid-like than other dry fertilizers. It can flow out of bin doors and into alleyways through small openings. The use of bulkheads are recommended to prevent outward flow from bins. ESN also exerts more pressure on the lower sidewalls of your bins. Bin sidewalls should be reinforced concrete where possible. Older, weaker and wooden sidewalls should either be braced, or ESN should be placed in center bins with product in adjacent bins to support the wall.

Avoid storing ESN in the same facility as ammonium nitrate.

The best blend

If you are using ESN in a blend with other fertilizer products, blend all other products first and then add ESN to the mix. Blend everything for as little time as required. Excessive blending can damage ESN. Blenders should also be run as full as possible.

In the field

Properly maintained applicators are needed to ensure your ESN is spread effectively. All spreaders must be properly calibrated and adjusted for ESN and ESN blends. Reducing the air speeds in airflow spreaders can reduce the impact on deflector shields. If you’re using a spinner spreader, double spreading is highly recommended. As with any field application, proper calibration ensures you are getting accurate placement of ESN or whatever you are applying.

For more tips on ESN storage and handling, visit us online.