Demonstration: Nitrogen Application Timing

Select the Right Time for nitrogen application.
Apply the Right Rate of fertilizer to meet crop needs.

Costs of inputs make it important to provide enough N so the crop is never deficient. For greatest efficiency, N should be applied close to the time it will be used by the crop.

This demonstration compares 3 different application times:

  • Fall Application
  • Spring Application
  • Split Application---½ applied in Fall and ½ applied in Spring

A second demonstration compares the full recommended N rate with a reduced rate (85% of recommended rate) using a controlled-release source, ESN®.

ESN® controlled-release technology delivers N to the crop all season long, not just when it's applied, allowing the crop to reach full genetic potential. The unique polymer coating helps prevent against all forms of N loss, including volatilization, denitrification, and leaching.

When used correctly, ESN® can substantially reduce N losses to surface water, subsurface drainage water, and groundwater, a positive impact to water quality.


Interested in trying one of our demonstration practices? Contact Terry Bachtold at 815-848-4455.

Right Source
Match fertilizer type to crop needs
  • Select appropriate nutrient sources for cropping system
  • Test soils
  • Consider N, P, K secondary and micronutrient
  • Consider enhanced efficiency fertilizers
  • Plan nutrient regimen
Right Time
Make nutrients available when crops need them
  • Time the application
  • Consider controlled release technologies and inhibitors
  • Choose fertilizer product
Right Place
Keep nutrients where crops can use them
  • Choose application method
  • Incorporate fertilizer
  • Use buffer strips
  • Use conservation tillage
  • Implement cover crop systems
Right Rate
Match amount of fertilizer to crop needs
  • Test soils
  • Yield goal analysis
  • Crop removal balance
  • Nutrient management planning
  • Plant tissue analysis
  • Record keeping
  • Variable rate technology
  • Site-specific management