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.
Growing reliable, high yielding wheat crops immediately after rice is a great opportunity to improve the productivity of rice farming systems in southern NSW. The principle benefits are higher returns:
per mega litre by productively using the water remaining in the soil after rice
to capital invested in irrigation infrastructure by double cropping
Calculating how much urea is required to be top dressed onto winter cereals is a matter of determining how much the crop will require, how much is currently available and then how much is required to make up the difference.
Canola is a valuable crop in the rice farming system but growers often face the dilemma of how many spring irrigations are required to achieve good yields and profit. With water availability at a premium it is important to know if water required for an additional spring irrigation could be better utilised elsewhere.
Careful management is needed if row crops are to be established after rice crops, It will take about 18 months for the soil to be suitable for row crops after the conversion of rice layouts to a beds in bays layout.
Wheat grown immediately following a rice crop can be one of the most profitable crops in the rice farming system. However, growers often face the dilemma of how many irrigations the crop will require to achieve good yields and profits, and/or if water required for an additional irrigation would be better used elsewhere.