Distribution of inorganic N fractions and N availability indices in the rice soils of Meghalaya

The potentially mineralizable N was evaluated by different chemical oxidation methods in 53 rice soils representing from six districts of Meghalaya. A wide variation in dry matter yield and N uptake was observed in the sampled, ranging from 13.7 - 55.8 g pot-1 and 155 - 1527 mg pot-1 with a yield and uptake response of 13 - 91 and 28 - 171 per cent, respectively. The ammoniacal N in the soils ranged from 28 - 207 kg ha-1 with a mean of 88 kg ha-1, while the nitrate N ranged from 3 - 44 kg ha-1 (mean 22 kg ha-1). Highest available N was recorded with dichromate oxidation that ranged from 1004 - 4390 kg ha-1, whereas the alkaline permanganate and acid permanganate extractable N recorded 182 - 603 and 157 - 470 kg ha-1, respectively. Alkaline KMnO4 and acid KMnO4 extractable N showed significantly higher relationship with all the plant growth parameters over the other extraction methods and the critical limits were found to be 320 and 286 kg ha-1, respectively. The fertilizer recommendations for rice have to be modified so as to enhance the N use efficiency in the soils of Meghalaya.