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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 2005-2007
Early Spring 2005 Fluids Reduce Costs Versus Dry In Drill-Seeded Rice Production Drs. Fred Turner and Mike Jund Summary: Our objective was to compare a three-way split of conventionally applied dry fertilizer with subsurface banded fluid fertilizer for rice production on clay soil near Beaumont, Texas. When all fertilizer was applied at planting and the fl ood irrigation established at the 6-leaf stage, the midseason nitrogen (N) content of plants receiving banded fluid fertilizer was 93 lbs/A of N or 27lbs/Amore ofNthanthe66lbs/AofNin dry fertilized plants. When all fertilizer was applied at planting and the flood established at the 4-leaf stage, the midseason N content of plants receiving banded fluid fertilizer was103lbs/AofNor21lbs/AofNmore than the 82 lbs/A of N in dry fertilized plants. Under the 6-leaf flood, dry fertilizer applied all preplant or in a 3-way split yielded 5,200 and 5,800 lbs/A, respectively, compared to 6,200 lbs/A for banded fluid fertilizer. The 4-leaf f lood system yielded higher than the 6-leaf system with the 3-way split dry fertilizer yielding 6,400 lbs/A compared to 6,900 lbs/A for both all preplant dry or banded fluid fertilizer. The banded fl uid fertilizer likely would have yielded higher than the dry fertilizer had the N rate been lower than 150 lbs/A, since the banded fl uid fertilizer plant contained 21 lbs/A more N at midseason. Subsurface banding of fluid fertilizer at planting, coupled with establishing the flood at the 4- leaf stage, optimized yields and N uptake. The combination of banding and early flood increased N effi ciency, reduced application cost, and improved production economics by allowing fewer flush irrigations and less herbicide. This initial research is being expanded to include silt loam soils. Banding of fluid fertilizer and early flood improved mid-season N content of plants receiving all fertilizer at planting. Fluid Journal 1 In flood-irrigated rice production, N fertilizer enters a unique environment that can fluctuate between aerobic and anaerobic conditions in which losses of N and mechanisms of N losses vary greatly from those of upland crops. Whereas upland crops frequently use 40 to 60 percent of the applied N, flooded rice crops typically use only 20 to 40 percent. Research in Arkansas has shown that N fertilizer efficiency of granular urea on rice can be as high as 70 percent when applied under ideal conditions by airplane in multiple applications. However, aerial applications waste energy and can cost $25 to $35/ A. Banded fertilizer, on the other hand, has proven effective for most crops and will likely improve fertilizer efficiency in rice production and reduce fertilization application cost by as much as 70 percent, especially when the fluid applicator is attached to the drill and subsurface banded while planting rice. Our overall objective of our project as reviewed in this discussion was to evaluate fluid fertilizer as a means to increase profitability of rice production in the southern U.S. We proposed to couple all innovations in fertilizer management (subsurface banding of fluid fertilizers) with innovations in water management (early flood and all the benefi ts associated with early flood) to reduce rice production costs.
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