At the 2023 National Farm Broadcasters Convention, Farm Director KC Sheperd had the chance to talk with the Senior Agronomist at Nutrien, Mike Howell. Sheperd and Howell talk about premium products for cotton.
“When we talk about fertilizing cotton, nitrogen is critical for cotton,” Howell said. “Every time we apply nitrogen, the plant really takes it up and takes off growing, and we have to put out some growth regulators to control that growth.”
Nutrien offers a controlled nitrogen release product called ESN (Environmentally Smart Nitrogen) that feeds the crop nitrogen over a period of about 60 days.
“Because of the polymer coating that surrounds that nitrogen, it is going to release that out a little bit of the time,” Howell said. “The warmer the temperature gets, the more nitrogen is going to be released. Because you are not getting the big ‘slug’ of nitrogen all at one time, the crop is not going to take off and grow so much, so we can also cut back on some plant growth regulators when we are using this in cotton.”
This product also protects a producer’s nitrogen investment, Howell said, because the nitrogen has a polymer coating.
“You are not going to lose your nitrogen to volatilization, denitrification, or leaching,” Howell said. “It is going to be contained inside that capsule and be released slowly to the plant, protecting that nitrogen investment. We all know how much nitrogen fertilizers cost these days, and anything we can do to protect that nitrogen and keep it in the field is going to benefit the grower and his bottom line.”
Howell also talked about another product for cotton producers, MAP + MST.
MST, standing for Micronized Sulfur Technology, means that the surface area of sulfur application increases and breaks down faster than elemental sulfur.
“Because this is a controlled-release sulfur product, we can apply this sulfur at planting, and it is going to be there and released during that same growing season and be available to take up,” Howell said. “We don’t have to worry about losing that sulfur as well.”
To listen to Mike Howell on his podcast, The Dirt, talking about agronomic science to help producers improve their bottom lines and more, CLICK HERE.