Nitrogen management in rice

Nitrogen is the one of most limiting nutrient for rice production, and in India rice cultivation alone accounts approximately 37% of the total fertilizer-N consumption in the year 1917-18. However, 60-70% of applied N is lost from the rice ecosystem system in the form of reactive N species such as ammonia (NH3), nitrous oxide (N2O),
nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitrate (NO3) through various processes. Hence enhancing N use efficiency through improved N management is of greater importance for ensuring food security and environmental sustainability. The decisions on optimum level, time, form and method of N application are crucial to an efficient N management strategy. Earlier studies suggested blanket fertilizer recommendations for different rice ecosystems and soil test based fertilizer applications. Subsequently, innovative methods of N application including deep placement of urea super granule in reduced zone, subsurface incorporation of urea through farmer friendly methods were also recommended Recently several advancements have been made in N management practices for rice crop such as site specific N management, real time N management using leaf colour chart (LCC) and customised LCC, enhanced efficiency N fertilizers (EENF) using N transformation regulators and GIS and remote sensing (RS) - based N application technologies. The objective of this paper is to comprehensively discuss about the established and emerging N management options for improving yield, N use efficiency and environmental sustainability of rice.