Straighthead in Australian rice crops

Straighthead is a ‘physiological’ disorder of rice which causes floret sterility and reduced grain yield. The symptoms are only obvious at panicle emergence and it is often confused with cold induced sterility, particularly in less severe cases.

Although there is no known cause of straighthead it is thought to be related to soil conditions induced by permanent flooding. It is not seed borne or transmitted around the farm.

This factsheet covers identification, importance, causes and management, including mid-season drain, delayed permanent water, nitrogen management and variety selection.

Tina Dunn & David Troldahl, NSW Department of Primary Industries & John Fowler, Murray LLS, Primefact 1346, second edition, June 2018