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«A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences ...»

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Rice receiving preflood urea treatments in 2005 had 79% N FRE with more N uptake than any other N source used and were similar to results found by Golden and coworkers (2006) (76%) (Fig. 7.1, Table 7.3). Dicyandiamide successfully increased rice N uptake in PLUDCD treatments compared to PLU (56 vs. 21%, respectively), but was still not as high as preflood urea (79%). Norman and coworkers (1989) and Wells and coworkers (1989) found that DCD increased rice plant N uptake from preplant

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likely the cause for this effect in previous research and our study. Urea hydrolysis, whether combined in N-fortified granules or applied alone, and PL organic N mineralization quickly occurred after soil application (Hadas et al., 1983; Bitzer and Sims, 1988; Han, 2004). Nitrification then converted NH4-N into NO3-N forms that were lost due to denitrification after the permanent flood was established (Norman et al., 1988). Although rice can assimilate both inorganic N species, rice N assimilation does not peak until 21 d after flooding and significant denitrification would have already occurred (Wilson et al., 1989; Guindo et. al., 1994). Granulated PLU and fresh PL treatments had the lowest N FRE with only 16 and 21% of TN applied being assimilated by plants, respectively (Table 7.3). Golden and coworkers (2006) found similar plant uptake N FRE at early heading with 12 and 14% of fresh PL and pelleted PL total N being assimilated, respectively. Similar to our study, Norman and coworkers (1989) had 20% of urea-N assimilated by plants when preplant incorporated, which was similar to PLU applied pre-plant in our study.

Rice plant N uptake in 2006 generally had similar trends as discussed for 2005 (Fig. 7.1, Table 7.3). Preflood urea had the highest N FRE with 98% of applied N being assimilated by plants (Table 7.3). Dicyandiamide additions increased N FRE from 25 to 49% for PLU and PLUDCD, respectively. Fresh PL and PLU had the lowest FRE efficiency out of all N sources (17 and 25%, respectively).

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In all three years, preflood applied urea treatments had non-linear relationships between N rate and rice grain yield response (Fig. 7.2 and Table 7.4). Nitrogen rate

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in 2004, 2005 and 2006, respectively (Table 7.4). Rice yield had linear responses with PL applications in all three years (Fig. 7.2 and Table 7.4). Granular PLU and PLUDCD fertilizers had linear or non-linear yield responses depending on year; however, no PLU or PLUDCD N fertilizer rate applied in our study was high enough for maximum yield production (Fig. 7.2 and Table 7.4). Due to a mix of linear and non-linear yield responses, all N source models were compared at the lowest preflood urea N rate (Table 7.5) that gave similar yields as the peak N rate (Table 7.4). We found the lowest N rate to achieve maximum yields by finding the corresponding N rate to the lowest yield in the 90% confidence interval for preflood urea in Table 7.4. This lowest maximum yield N rate was then used to calculate a new yield confidence interval for N source model comparison and is illustrated in Fig. 7.2 and Table 7.5. Yield data varied by year and each year is discussed separately.

In 2004, preflood urea applications of 90 kg N ha"1 gave similar yields as the N source model's peak of 135 kg N ha"1 and was used for comparison to other sources (Fig.

7.2 and Table 7.5). Rice yielded 6272 kg ha"1 with 90 kg N ha"1 N rate applications resulting in a N agronomic efficiency of 17.5 kg rice produced per kg N applied. Golden and coworkers (2006) and Griggs and coworkers (2007) found that urea was 2 times more efficient than our findings on the same soil series (38 and 32 kg rice kg N applied"1, respectively). Norman and coworkers (2003) showed that significant amounts of N were lost if urea applications were made to wet soils and can decrease yields. The N application window for preflood urea application in our study was closing due to abnormally high rainfall and urea applications had to be made; however, N agronomic

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The PLU and PLUDCD granules (17.5 and 19.5 kg rice kg N"1, respectively) had statistically similar N agronomic efficiency as preflood applied urea (17.5 kg rice kg N' 1 ).

Fresh PL had the lowest N agronomic efficiency (12.4 kg rice kg N"1) out of all sources.

Rice yields in 2005 were compared at preflood urea applications of 152 kg N ha'1 (Fig. 7.2 and Table 7.5). The preflood urea quadratic model predicted 10 809 kg rice ha'1 resulting in 53.4 kg rice produced for each kg N applied. Granular PLUDCD had the second highest yields but produced half as much rice grain per kg N applied compared to preflood applied urea (27.6 kg rice kg N'1) (Fig. 7.2 and Table 7.5). Fresh PL and PLU granules had similar N agronomic efficiency producing only 14.7 and 18.4 kg rice kg fertilizer N"1 (28 and 34% on a urea basis, respectively). Comparatively, Golden and coworkers (2006) indicated that 11.0 and 12.2 kg rice was produced per kg N applied from fresh PL and pelleted PL on silt loam soils, respectively. Similar to Norman and coworkers (1989), preplant incorporated applications of N-fortified granules without DCD was inefficient and yield data mirrored plant N uptake data.

Similar trends between rice yield, N rate and N source were observed in 2006 as described for 2005 (Fig. 7.2 and Table 7.5). Preflood N rates of 117 kg N ha"1 were used to compare N sources and urea had a N agronomic efficiency of 41.4 kg rice produced with each kg N applied. Granular PLUDCD treatments produced 29.4 kg rice kg N"1 resulting in a 71% urea equivalency (Fig. 7.2 and Table 7.5). Fresh PL and PLU had similar linear yield responses producing only 12.2 and 16.0 kg rice kg N" (29 and 39% on a urea basis), respectively.

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Soil C was not impacted by fertilizer rate or N source treatment at rice heading and averaged 8.18 g C kg"1 (Table 7.6). Litter and granular PL application rates applied on a N basis did not offer significant soil C increases late in the growing season, as seen by Brye and coworkers (2006) on a DeWitt silt loam soil. Total soil N concentrations were dependent on N source, averaged over years and N rates (Table 7.6). Poultry litter had highest soil N at rice heading (0.79 g kg"1) and preflood urea treatments were lowest (0.73 g kg"1), as we expected since more N from urea treatments was assimilated by the rice plants. Organic N from PL sources may be plant available in subsequent years (Bitzer and Sims, 1988). Overall, C:N ratios were not different and averaged 10.84 (Table 7.6).

Similar to other research, NO3-N soil concentrations (0.08 mg kg"1) were negligible and non-significant at rice heading due to denitrification that occurs under prolonged flooded soil conditions (Reddy, 1982; Norman et al., 1988). Ammonium-N was not present in any significant relationships and averaged 7.99 mg NH4-N kg"1.

Similar to our research, Norman and coworkers (1988) found no differences in soil inorganic N concentrations at early heading whether DCD was added to preplant urea.

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Data from 2004 should generally be disregarded do to abnormally wet conditions prior to permanent rice flooding. Both plant N uptake and rice yield indicated that N efficiency generally increased in the following manner: fresh PL PLU PLUDCD preflood urea. Averaged across years, PL, PLU, PLUDCD, and preflood urea had 17, 23, 53, and 89% of applied total N assimilated by rice plants and produced 14, 17, 29, and 47

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This project was partially funded by the Arkansas Soil Testing and Research Fertilizer Tonnage Fees Program administered by the Arkansas Soil Test Review Board.

The authors wish to thank Mr. Danny Boothe, Mrs. Donna Frizzell, and Mr. Chuck Pipkins for their help in establishing and maintaining research plots.

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Reference to trade or company name is for specific information and does not imply approval or recommendation of the company by the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville or the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture to the exclusion of others that may be suitable.

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