Highly soluble N fertilizers like urea may be lost from the soil plant system through leaching, ammonia (NH3) volatilization and denitrification that reduce NUE and yield. The study was conducted to determine the effects of UREAStabil on enhancement of nitrogen utilization efficiencies of rice crop and to evaluate the influence of UREAStabil on growth and yield of rice under waterlogged conditions of Fogera area. Treatments were comprised, control, recommended N from conventional urea (as basal and tillering), recommended N from UREAStabil fertilizer applied once as basal, recommended N from UREAStabil (split as basal and tillering), half below the recommended N from UREAStabil as basal, half more than the recommended N from UREAStabil (split as basal and tillering), half more than the recommended N from conventional urea (split as basal and tillering), half more than the recommended N from UREAStabil as basal. Data were collected plant height, total tiller number, panicle length, number of fertile grains, thousand seed weight, grain yield, straw yield and harvest Index. Highly significantly (P<0.01) affected grain yield (3.55 t ha-1) was recorded on 136.5 kg N ha-1 in split application 45.5 kg N ha-1 as basal and 91 kg N ha-1 tillering stage from UREAStabil source. Conventional urea source of N, application of 136.5 kg N ha-1 in split application (45.5 kg ha-1 as basal and 91 kg ha-1 tillering stage was provided higher yield (3.14) which is statistically non-significant compared to slow-release fertilizer. The economic analysis has further revealed that application of 136.5 kg N ha-1 from UREAStabil in split application of 45.5 kg N ha-1 as basal and 91 kg N ha-1 tillering stage provided highest net benefit of Birr 47,356 ha-1 was the most profitable treatment for lowland rice production. Application of 136.5 kg N ha-1 rate from the source of UREAStabil in split application of 45.5 kgha-1 as basal and 91 kg N ha-1 tillering stage is the best to be recommended for lowland rice production of Fogera and similar agro-ecologies in Ethiopia.
Key words: Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE), UREAStabil, profitability, yield.
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