As crops approach mid tillering, it is time to start considering crop nitrogen requirements for topdressing. Many winter cereal crops this year will be grown on rice stubble, so there will be little nitrogen available without topdressing. Yet in a year with minimal water availability and a dry seasonal outlook, your nitrogen topdressing requirement should be determined by how much water you have available to finish off your crop, current soil moisture status and likely returns.
During this drought, demand for rice stubble has increased but demand is often limited due to the low nutrition that rice straw provides. You can improve the nutrition of rice stubble through different conservation management practices or by adding nitrogen based products to the straw.