Rice is a rich accumulator of silicon and its supply is essential for the growth and economic yield of rice. Hence, a field experiment was conducted in sandy clay loam soil belonging to Padugai series (Typic ustifluvent) at farmers holding in Kuttalam block, Mayiladuthurai district, Tamil Nadu to assess the role of silicon in improving agronomic characters and yield of rice ADT 43, Oryza sativa. The treatments included T1 - Recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF), T2 - RDF + Potassium silicate (FS) - 0.25%, T3- RDF + FS - 0.50%, T4 - RDF +FS - 1.00%, T5 -RDF + FS - 0.25%, T6 - RDF + FS - 0.50%, T7 - RDF + FS - 1.00%, T8 - RDF + SA - 50 kg ha-1, T9 - RDF + SA - 100 kg ha-1 and T10 - RDF + SA- 150 kg ha-1. From T2 to T4, the foliar spray was done at tillering stage and from T5 to T7, the foliar spray was done at tillering and panicle initiation stage. The silicon was applied through FS with the rice crop. The soil application of silicon relatively recorded higher growth and yield compared to foliar application. Besides improving different agronomic characters of the rice, the soil application of 50 kg Si ha-1 registered the highest grain yield (6183.3 kg ha-1) and straw yield (6740 kg ha-1) and was comparable with a single foliar spray of 1% Si. Growth and rice yield increased with Si concentration of 0.25% to 1%. Thus, the soil application of silicon @50 kg ha-1 through potassium silicate is advocated to realize maximum rice yield.
Growth, Rice, Silicon, Yield
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