Effect of Different Nitrogen Levels on protein content of two Upland Rice varieties and influence of Grain moisture Content on Milling Recovery under Lowveld Conditions of Zimbabwe

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Godwin Mtetwa, Zacharia Muchingami and Chirinze Norman

Department of Research and Specialist Services, Chiredzi Research Station, Zimbabwe.

Rice protein is one of the most nutritious components among cereals. A trial evaluating grain protein content at different nitrogen levels was conducted in the Lowveld of Zimbabwe under irrigation. Effect of grain moisture content on de-husking quality was also assessed. Split plot design was used, variety as main-plot factor and nitrogen (N) fertilizer application rate as sub-plot factor (0 kgN/ha; 50 kgN/ha; 100 kgN/ha and 150 kgN/ha). Mhara1 (M1) and Mhara2 (M2) are upland rice varieties. Five-grain moisture levels (12%; 14%; 16%; 18% and 20%) were considered during de-husking. Results showed that applied nitrogen significantly (p<0.05) increased crude protein (CP), total Nitrogen (TN) and grain yield.  M1 had significantly higher CP compared to M2 at any applied nitrogen level. M1 had a higher rate of increase of (CP) and (TN). De-husking at 14% moisture gave best results for both varieties, attaining 86% full-grain. Moisture content above 18% increased breakages when de-husking.

 Key words: protein, de-husking, upland, rice and nitrogen

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