Skip to main content

Effect of fertilizer deep placement with urea supergranule on nitrogen use efficiency of irrigated rice in Sourou Valley (Burkina Faso)


The loss of nitrogen (N) can be very high in rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields, particularly in the irrigated rice cropping systems with very poor water control. Previous studies have reported very low (30 %) fertilizer N use efficiency by broadcasting in irrigated cropping systems. The effect of fertilizer N (prilled urea—PU) and briquettes—urea supergranules (USG) on rice yield performance and nutrient uptake was investigated in West Africa. Field experiments were carried out in Sourou valley in Burkina Faso in the wet season of 2012 and dry season of 2013. PU was broadcast applied and USG were point-placed deeply into the soil at 5–7 cm using the same fertilizer N rates (52 kg N ha−1) and two different rice varieties (FKR 19 and NERICA 62N). The results indicate that Fertilizer Deep Placement (FDP) significantly increased grain yields, particularly in the wet season as compared with broadcasting. The FDP applied to NERICA 62N produced the highest tillers and panicles numbers, leading to more yields. In wet season, FDP significantly increased agronomic efficiency by 39.43 % over PU and physiological efficiency by 24.23 %. In the dry season, differences in the average nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) between FDP and PU were not significant. The studies suggest that FDP is genotype and season-specific, and that it can be used by farmers to improve NUE and increase grain yields in the irrigated rice cropping system. Further investigations are underway to understand seasonal and genetic effect on FDP performance.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  • Bandaogo A (2010) Amélioration de la fertilisation azotée en riziculture irriguée dans la Vallée du Kou à travers la technologie du placement profond de l’urée super granulé. Université polytechnique de Bobo-Dioulasso, Mémoire de DEA, p 47

    Google Scholar 

  • Bassolé D (2007) Contribution a la réflexion sur la qualité des intrants agricoles au Burkina Faso. Etude sur la qualité des engrais vendus en détails dans 14 localités d’implantation des boutiques d’intrants et de location de matériels au Burkina. APIPAC, IFDC, p 39

  • Bowen WT, Diamond RB, Singh U, Thompson TP (2004) Urea deep placement increases yield and save Nitrogen fertilizer in farmer’s field in Bangladesh. Rice is life: scientific perspectives for the 21st century. In: Proceedings of the world rice research conference held in Tsukuba, Japan, 4–7 November. pp 369–372

  • Cassman KG, De Datta SK, Amarante ST, Liboon SP, Samson MI, Dizon MA (1996) Long-term comparison of the agronomic efficiency and residual benefits of organic and inorganic nitrogen sources for tropical lowland rice. Exp Agric 32:427–444

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cassman KG, Peng S, Olk DC, Ladha JK, Reichardt W, Dobermann A, Singh U (1998) Opportunities for increased nitrogen-use efficiency from improved resource management in irrigated rice systems. Field Crops Res 56:7–39

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Craswell ET, Vlek PLG (1979) Fate of fertilizer nitrogen applied to wetland rice. In: Nitrogen and rice. International Rice Research Institute, Los Ban6s, Philippines, pp 175–192

  • Craswell ET, Godwin DC (1984) The efficiency of nitrogen fertilizers applied to cereals in different climates. In: Tinker PB, Lauchli A (eds) Advances in plant nutrition. Praeger Publishers, C. B. S. Educational and Professional Publishing, New York, pp 1–55

    Google Scholar 

  • Dodermann A, Fairhurst T (2000) Rice nutrient disorders and nutrient management. Handbook series. Potash & Phosphate Institute of Canada (PPIC), East and Southeast Asian Programs, Singapore; and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Makati City 1271, Philippines, pp. 191, ISBN 981-04-2742-5

  • Duan YH, Zhang YL, Shen QR, Chen HY, Zhang Y (2005) Effect of partial replacement of NH4 + by NO3 on nitrogen uptake and utilization by different genotypes of rice at the seedling stage. Plant Nutr Fertil Sci 11(2):160–165

    Google Scholar 

  • Dupuy J, D’onofrio G, Gaudin R (1990) Etude à l’aide d’urée enrichie en 15 N de la fertilisation azotée du riz inondé à Madagascar: « Comparaison entre supergranules d’urée, perllurée et solution d’urée placés à 1 cm ou 10 cm de profondeur ». L’Agronomie Tropicale 45(1):3–10

    Google Scholar 

  • Fageria NK, Baligar VC (2001) Lowland rice response to nitrogen fertilisation. Soil Sci Plant Anal 32(9–10):1405–1429

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Fageria NK, De Morais OP, Dos Santos AB (2010) Nitrogen use efficiency in upland rice genotypes. J Plant Nutr 33:1696–1711

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Faggi P, Mozzi P (2000) La territorialisation hydraulique dans la Vallée du Sourou (Burkina Faso). Université de Padova, p 78

  • Freney JR, Leuning R, Simpson JR, Denmead OT, Muirhead WA (1985) Estimating ammonia volatilization from flooded rice fields by simplified techniques. Soil Sci Soc Am J 49:1049–1054

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Gaudin R (1988) L’ammoniac NH3, une clé pour comprendre l’efficacité des supergranules d’urée en riziculture irriguée. L’Agronomie Tropicale 43(1):30–36

    Google Scholar 

  • Habtegebrial K, Sintayehu M, Solomon H (2013) Nitrogen and sulphur fertilizers effects on yield, nitrogen uptake and nitrogen use efficiency of upland rice variety on irrigated Fluvisols of the Afar region. Ethiopia 4(3):62–70

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hassan MS, Hossein SMA, Salim M, Anwer MP, Azed AKM (2002) Response of hybrid and inbred varieties to the application methods of urea supergranules and prilled urea. Pak J Biol Sci 5:746–748

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jiang LG, Dai TB, Jiang D, Cao WX, Gan XQ, Wei SQ (2004) Characterizing physiological N use efficiency as influenced by nitrogen management in three rice cultivars. Field Crops Res 88:239–250

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jiang L, Dong D, Gan X, Wei S (2005) Photosynthetic efficiency and nitrogen distribution under different nitrogen management and relationship with physiological nitrogen use efficiency in three rice genotypes. Plant Soil 271:321–328

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Kabore KB, Segda Z, Ouedraogo M, Traore H, Lompo F, Dakouo D (2011) Politique rizicole du burkina faso et perspectives. Conference sur «30 ans de partenariat mali-fondation syngenta pour une agriculture durable» 5–7 Octobre 2011 Bamako, Mali

  • Kapoor V, Singh U, Patil SK, Magre H, Shrivastava LK, Mishra VN (2008) Rice Growth, grain yield, and floodwater nutrient dynamics as affected by nutrient placement method and rate. Agron J 100:526–536

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ladha JK, Reddy PM (2003) Nitrogen fixation in rice system: state of knowledge and future prospects. Plant Soil 252:151–167

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • MAHRH (2003) Strategie nationale de developpement durable de l’irrigation au Burkina Faso

  • MAHRH (2010) Stratégie Nationale de Développement de la Riziculture. MAHRH

  • Mohanty SK, Singh U, Balasubramanian V, Jha KP (1999) Nitrogen deep-placement technologies for productivity, profitability and environmental quality of rainfed lowland rice systems. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 53:43–57

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pasandaran E, Gulton B, Adiringsih JS, Aspari H, Rochayati SR (1999) Government policy support for technology promotion and adoption: a case study of urea tablet technology in Indonesia. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 53:113–119

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Peoples MB, Freney JR, Mosier AR (1995) Minimizing gaseous losses of nitrogen. In: Bacon PE (ed) Nitrogen fertilization in the environment. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 565–602

    Google Scholar 

  • Rabat P (2003) Les engrais et leurs applications. Précis à l’usage des agents de la vulgarisation agricole, 4e édition, p 77

  • SAS Institute Inc. (1999) User’s Guide, Version 8. Cary, SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA, p 173

  • Sathiya K, Ramesh T (2009) Effect of split application of nitrogen on growth and yield of aerobic rice. Asian J Exp Sci 23(1):303–306

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Savant NK, Stangel PJ (1990) Deep placement of urea supergranules in transplanted rice: principles and practices. Fertil Res 25:1–83

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Savant NK, Ongkingco PS, Zarate IV, Torrizo FM, Stangel PJ (1991) Urea briquette applicator for transplanted rice. Fertil Res 28:323–331

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Segda Z (2006) Gestion de la fertilité du sol pour une production améliorée et durable du riz (Oriza sativa L.) au Burkina Faso. Cas de la plaine irrigué de Bagré. Thèse présenté à l’UFR/SVT. Thèse doctorat UO. BF. 202p + publications

  • Sheehy JE, Dionoraa MJA, Mitchelib PL, Penga S, Casman KG, Lemaire G, William RL (1998) Critical nitrogen concentrations: implications for high-yielding rice (Oriza sativa L) cultivars in the tropics. Fields Crops Res 59:31–41

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sheehy J, Mitchell PL (2011) Rice and global food security: the race between scientific discovery and catastrophe chapter 8:81–90

    Google Scholar 

  • Smil V (1997) Cycles of life: civilisation and the biosphere. Scientific American Library, New York 221p

    Google Scholar 

  • Stangel PJ (1989) Urea supergranule for transplanted rice. IFDC research review. In: Kumar V et al (eds) Soil fertility and fertilizer use, vol III. Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative (IFFCO) Limited, New Delhi, pp 1–9

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang S, Zhu Y, Jiang H, Cao W (2005) Positional differences in nitrogen and sugar concentrations of upper leaves relate to plant N status in rice under different N rates. Field Crops Res 96(2):224–234

    Google Scholar 

  • Whitehead DC (2000) Nitrogen. In: Whitehead DC (ed) Nutrient elements in grassland. CAB International, Wallingford, pp 95–125

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Witt C, Dobermann A, Abdulrachman S, Gines HC, Wang G, Nagarajan R, Satawatananont S, Tran TS, Pham ST, Le Van T, Simbahan GC, Olk DC (1999) Internal nutrient efficiencies of irrigated lowland rice in tropical and subtropical Asia. Field Crops Res 63:113–138

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yameogo PL, Segda Z, Dakouo D, Sedogo MP (2013) Placement profond de l’urée et amélioration de l’efficacité d’utilisation de l’azote en riziculture de Karfiguela au Burkina Faso. J Appl Biosci 70:5523–5530

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yoseftabar S (2013) Effect of Nitrogen Management on Panicle Structure and Yield in Rice (Oryza sativa L.). Int J Agri Crop Sci 5(11):1224–1227

    Google Scholar 

  • Yoshida S, Cock JH, Parao FT (1972) Physiological aspects of high yields. Annu Rev Plant Physiol 23:437–464

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors are very grateful to Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) for financing this study through their scholarship support to lead author. We also like to thank International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) for their technical and material support. We are also grateful to the National Institute of Environmental and Agronomic Research Center of North-West of Burkina Faso, in Sourou (INERA-Di) for their technical and scientific support.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Fofana Bidjokazo.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bandaogo, A., Bidjokazo, F., Youl, S. et al. Effect of fertilizer deep placement with urea supergranule on nitrogen use efficiency of irrigated rice in Sourou Valley (Burkina Faso). Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 102, 79–89 (2015).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Fertilizer deep placement
  • N uptake
  • Fertilizer use efficiency
  • Rice variety