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Optimisation of major nutrients (N, P and K) for lowland rice production in Eastern Uganda

Wanyama, V.A. Ochwoh, E. Nankya, P.J.A. Van Asten

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Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res.7(2), 218-227, August 2015

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Abstract

Demand for rice in Uganda surpasses the supply and results in importation of over 30% of the rice consumed. Actual rice yields are still very low (1.5 t ha-1) compared to the potential yield (8 t ha-1). Therefore, this study aimed at establishing the major limiting nutrients and estimation of optimum fertilizer requirements for lowland rice for increased and sustainable production. The study was conducted in two seasons Eastern Uganda. Two sets of trials were conducted; nutrient omission trial for estimating indigenous nutrient supply of the major nutrients and response function and the recovery efficiency trial for estimating recovery of applied Nitrogen. Both experiments were laid in a RCBD, where the first one involved 8 treatments of NPK (t0, t1, t2, t4, t5, t6, t7 and t8) each at different rates. While the second experiment involved two treatments (t0 and t1) of N fertilizer. Applications of nitrogen significantly increased yield components and consequently the grain yield of rice. The major limiting nutrient for lowland rice production is nitrogen and the soil nitrogen supplying potential can support yield target of 2.8 t ha-1. Whereas, the indigenous Phosphorus and Potassium supply can support yield target of up to 9 t ha-1 and therefore, not limiting at achievable yield targets of 6 tha-1. Use of internal efficiencies was promising in analysis of nutrient status and nutrient requirement to achieve the specific yield targets. 65 kg N ha-1 is the optimum rate for lowland rice and this corresponds to a target yield of 5 t ha-1.

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