Rice preflood nitrogen management
After urea application, it is critical to establish a permanent flood as quickly as possible, but preferably within five days. This will ensure maximum availability of the applied N. Rates of nitrogen and application splits vary by soil type, pump capacity, the ability to apply urea uniformly, and grower preference. If fields can be flooded within a few days after urea application, my recommendation is to apply 50 to 70% of the total amount of N prior to flood and apply the remaining at midseason. For hybrids, RiceTec, Inc., recommends applying 30 lbs of the total N at 5% heading. Lodging susceptible varieties like CL151 and CL111 should not be fertilized for maximum yield potential. Our research shows that lodging can be greatly reduced when we fertilize to achieve 95% of the maximum yield potential. On clay soils, this equates to 135 to 150 pounds of N per acre. As a comparison, Rex and Cocodrie on clay soils will require typically require 165 to 180 pounds of N per acre.
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