Correct placement of side dress nitrogen (N) fertilizer could increase nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and maize yield production. Field studies were established to evaluate application of midseason (V8 to V10), variable liquid urea ammonia nitrate (28%), N rates (0, 45, 90 and 134 kg N ha−1) and different application distances (0, 10, 20 and 30 cm) away from the maize row on grain yield and NUE at Haskell and Hennessey in 2009, Efaw in 2010 and Lake Carl Blackwell, Oklahoma in 2009 and 2010. A randomized complete block design with three replications was used throughout the study. Results indicated that maize grain yield in sites with adequate rainfall increased significantly (p < 0.05) with N rate, and poor N response was recorded in sites with low rainfall. Across sites and seasons, varying side dress N application distance away from the maize row did not significantly (p < 0.05) influence maize grain yield and NUE even with no prep-plant applied. Environments with adequate rainfall distribution had better maize grain yields when high side dress N rates (90 and 134 kg N ha−1) were applied 0 to 10 cm, and a higher NUE when 45 kg N ha−1 was applied 0 to 20 cm away from the maize row. For low N rates (45 kg N ha−1), increased maize grain yield and NUE were achieved when side dress N was applied 0 to 20 cm away from the maize row at locations with low rainfall distribution. Across sites and seasons, increasing side dress N to 134 kg N ha−1 contributed to a general decline in mean NUE to as low as 4%, 35%, 10%, 51% at Hennessey, Efaw, LCB (2009) and LCB (2010) respectively.