Drill sowing rice provides several advantages over aerial sowing while still maintaining a high grain yield potential.
Increased water productivity and profitability are the most important benefits from drill sowing. Others benefits include; reduced lodging, no wind or muddy water problems, less aquatic weeds and duck and snail issues.
Seed depth placement is critical to drill sown rice
According to growers who drill sow, the dry spring has resulted in hardening of well-prepared seed beds. This has prevented drill seeders, and particularly single disc machines, from working effectively. As a consequence, growers have had to work the ground prior to sowing or have pre- watered to enable sowing to take place.
The topic of greatest interest at recent rice grower discussion groups in the Deniliquin district was how to sow crops on time. It’s been many years since wet paddock conditions throughout September have delayed ground preparation like they have this season.
A lot has changed since the Rice Extension pre-season meetings where we discussed planning. Lack of rain and small allocation increases have been the biggest changes and a combination that most growers would not have planned for.
This has resulted in many growers irrigating winter crops with their allocation and carryover water, leaving less water available for rice. The other change is the temporary water price.
Our project began by looking at both green and brown slime, as both types of slime were thought to be due to nuisance algae. We soon found that farmers can control green slime which is caused mainly by green algae such as Spirogyra and Anabaena. However, we found that for some rice farmers, brown slime is still a problem.