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Efficient Nitrogen Fertilization for Cultivated Wild Rice Varieties

Start Date: 2013
Principal Investigators: Dan Braaten, Dr. Albert Sims, Dr. Vinvent Fritz
Organization: University of Minnesota
Status: Complete

Background Info

The research has focused on more efficient use of nitrogen – and not losing it to denitrification – in wild rice. When wild rice is flooded, nitrogen is applied aerially, which has shown to be less efficient. In order to mitigate some of this inefficiency, the team looked at environmentally smart nitrogen, or ESN, which is a product made by Agrium. The thought was that with ESN – the polymer coated urea – nitrogen would release slowly and then growers could maybe put more it on early in the fall, and then it would last through one top dress timing, so we would be able to eliminate that.

Objectives

Determine if ESN can be used to replace aerially top-dressed urea for wild rice production

Optimize the amount of ESN and urea needed for wild rice crops following legumes (soybean or field pea) vs. following a previous wild rice crop

Test whether different categories of wild rice varieties (specifically high-yielding varieties, early maturing varieties, and short-statured varieties) respond differently to replacing top-dressed urea and/or modest amount of pre-plant urea with ESN

Key Findings

Few significant differences were found in the results, and combined with previous work from year 1 of the AFREC wild rice ESN trials, it appears that an 80 lb. N/A treatment is more efficient and effective rate of fertilization.

Some significant results were seen as you replaced ESN with top-dress urea, leading to decrease in plant yield. These results varied from location to location, as well as from previous crop to previous crop, making it difficult to pinpoint any trends going on.

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