The effect of ESN nitrogen fertilizer on bermudagrass forage production
Payne, Kathryn Marie
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Due to regulation of ammonium nitrate (AN), forage producers have become more reliant on urea-based fertilizers. Environmentally Smart Nitrogen (ESN) is a polymer-coated urea that physically regulates N release. ESN has been shown to reduce volatilization losses caused by urea, but it releases N too slowly to be effective on early harvest yields. This study was designed to determine the response of ESN:urea blends (0, 50, 75, and 100% ESN) applied twice per season on ‘Russell’ bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] forage production compared to conventional treatments (AN and urea) split in four applications per season. All treatments received 336 kg N ha-1 season-1. The 50% and 75% ESN blends increased total DM yield, N removal, CP, and TDN when compared to conventional urea, while still being comparable to AN. The 50% and 75% ESN blends were also shown to be cost-effective alternatives to conventional AN and urea systems.