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7 October 2016 Nitrogen rate and timing effects on growth and yield of drill-sown rice
B. W. Dunn, T. S. Dunn, B. A. Orchard
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Eight rice experiments were established at two sites in the Riverina district of south-eastern Australia in the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons. Two semi-dwarf rice varieties were drill-sown and nitrogen (N) fertiliser (urea) was applied at different rates at the 4-leaf stage before permanent water (pre-PW) and at panicle initiation (PI). The research assessed the impact of timing of N application on grain yield, compared the apparent N recovery of N fertiliser applied at the two stages, and determined an application strategy for N to obtain consistently high grain yields for current, semi-dwarf rice varieties when drill-sown. The apparent N recoveries achieved were 59% for N applied pre-PW and 25% for N applied at PI, averaged across years, sites, varieties and N rates. Grain yield increased significantly with increased rate of N applied at both stages, but the rate of increase from N applied at PI decreased as the rate of N applied pre-PW increased. The grain yield increase for N applied pre-PW was due to increased number of panicles at maturity and increased number of florets per panicle. Nitrogen applied at PI increased dry matter at maturity and number of florets per panicle. Application of N at PI increased grain yield over that when no N was applied; however, at low PI N-uptake levels, application of N at PI is not enough to achieve high grain yields. Therefore, sufficient N should be available to the crop from a combination of soil- and pre-PW-applied N for the crop to reach a level of N uptake at PI whereby high yields can be achieved. Nitrogen applied at PI did not appear to increase the potential for cold-induced floret sterility as much as pre-PW-applied N. Further research is required to confirm this in other seasons and for other rice varieties.

© CSIRO 2016
B. W. Dunn, T. S. Dunn, and B. A. Orchard "Nitrogen rate and timing effects on growth and yield of drill-sown rice," Crop and Pasture Science 67(11), 1149-1157, (7 October 2016).
Received: 3 September 2015; Accepted: 1 September 2016; Published: 7 October 2016
apparent nitrogen recovery
drill sowing
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