Rice grain chalkiness can reduce crop quality resulting in lower grades and returns. It is as a consequence of loose starch and protein particles packing during grain filling and maturation, and may due to nutritional, biochemical, physiological and environmental conditions particularly in varieties with high inheritable chalkiness. This study set out to evaluate the response to varying levels of nitrogen and potassium [N:K] fertilizer combinations and its time of application [TOA] on the partitioning of assimilates and their effect on grain filling and chalkiness in a commercial rice production system. The results indicate that while the N level increased within a particular K level, the crop maintained a similar rate of photosynthesis and dry matter production. The K which is involved in active translocation manifested its effect later in the partitioning after 14WAS, and during grain filling. At the N:K ratio of 2:1, the % chalkiness was at an acceptable level (<2%), and the plant tissue analysis N:K was close to 1:1. Chalkiness is an agronomic problem that is best managed in susceptible varieties through adequate crop nutrition using the simple N:K ratio. The study confirmed that when N:K was applied at a 2:1 ratio, grain yield was the highest and chalkiness at its lowest
Key words: Grain filling, chalkiness, net assimilation rate, partitioning of assimilates, potassium fertilizer.
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