Rice Extension Newsletter October 2018


We are excited to announce the launch of the 2019 Rice Grower of the Year Awards. We will be calling for nominations in March 2019 and are inviting all industry supporters to partner with us to promote the Awards. See article below for details.

Recommended sowing windows have changed this season

  • Herbicide Q&A session with Malcolm Taylor

  • New 2,4-D label instructions take effect

  • On-farm water use comparisons – Expressions of interest request

  • Chemicals in drainage water

  • Is it worth delaying permanent water or is the cost of the extra herbicide too high?

  • Irrigation scheduling your delayed permanent water crop for best yields

  • Hybrid rice – hype or hope

  • Widgelli grower demonstrates drill sowing rice saves water 

  • October - November Rice Grower Key Practices Diary

Upcoming events:

  • 2019 Inaugural Rice Industry Awards: celebrating outstanding rice farmers.

  • Introduction to Leadership - Tier 1: call for applications

  • Water Availability and Trade workshops November

  • Women in Rice Wakool 10am to 2pm November 21


@RiceExtension Crop 6 in 3 years in the same paddock:

rice, oats, rice, barley, rice, oats. What a rotation! #doublecropping

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Planting too early increases the risk of damage from hot weather at maturity and cold weather in January.

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The NSW DPI agronomy team have been researching over the last 4 years the best sowing time for each variety to ensure consistently high yields and grain quality. The above table is the latest information.

For late water allocation announcements Brian Dunn suggests extending the sowing dates of some varieties using some sowing methods. These extended sowing dates are still expected to produce a high yield but may increase the risk of a later harvest especially if very high nitrogen rates are applied pre-permanent water.

  • Aerial sow Reiziq up until 15 November and drill sow until 10 November

  • Aerial sow Viand up until 10 December and drill sow until 5 December

  • Do not sow Koshi, Opus, Topaz, Langi or Doongara late due to high risk of cold damage

  • Don’t delay permanent water on later sowing – especially Viand

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When spraying post sowing, pre-emergence on drill sown rice, how much rain is required and how soon after spraying to activate Stomp and Magister ?

Short answer is that we don’t know. Many pre-emergence herbicide labels quote figures of 2 to 10mm up to 5 days after flushing, but very little evidence is available to support these assertions. 

Both MAGISTER and STOMP have substantial persistence on dry soils. However, rainfall or flushing is necessary to move the chemicals to where most barnyard grass germinates from (0-5cm).

In practice, this combination works reliably when applied post flushing, pre crop emergence. A subsequent rain or flushing event is often necessary to enhance rice seedling emergence at this stage, particularly on dispersive clay soils that are prone to sealing. 

What is the latest crop stage that you can apply Magister?

Magister can be applied post emergence to drill sown rice, with no maximum crop growth stage specified. MAGISTER works best as a pre-emergence application. Rice injury (bleaching and a loss of vigour) is more common with post emergence applications. Magister will also antagonise barnyard grass control with Barnstorm, resulting in poorer weed control. This is why we recommend Magister as a pre-emergence application and not to be tank mixed with Barnstorm.

What is the latest crop stage that you can apply Gramoxone?

Gramoxone (paraquat) is a non-selective and very potent desiccant herbicide that relies upon contact. It is not translocated (in contrast to glyphosate). Any rice leaf that is contacted with Gramoxone will be burnt off. Rice seedlings can lose the first leaf and recover as the seedling is still relying upon the seed endosperm for a carbohydrate source. By two leaf stage, the seed reserves are exhausted, so if you desiccate rice at this stage, the plants will die.

If rice is commencing to emerge, some damage can be tolerated in order to ensure that the 3 way mix of Gramoxone plus Stomp plus Magister is applied. The application window will be very narrow however (1-2 days).

In practice, if a post flush, pre-emergence timing is missed due to a rain event delaying field access, dropping the Gramoxone will be necessary, but applying Magister plus Stomp will still be worthwhile. In these circumstances, Stam can be substituted for Gramoxone, but at a major cost penalty. Roundup can be applied by air if wet ground delays field access to emerged weeds, ensure no rice is emerged, and apply Magister/Stomp later when the field becomes accessible.

What is the latest crop stage that you can apply Stomp?

Stomp is a pre-emergence herbicide that can be applied in a wider window than Magister as it will not damage emerged rice. As it has little or no post emergence activity on barnyard grass, it is best applied pre-emergence. STOMP can be tank mixed with Stam, Barnstorm or Aura to provide extended pre-emergence barnyard grass control. These combinations are useful if the 3 way mixture was missed due to poor field trafficability.

Could you spray Magister or Stomp post-sowing, prior to the first flush?

Magister can be sprayed prior to the first flush as it will be tolerated by the crop. Stomp should not be sprayed until germination of rice has commenced as the crop may be more susceptible to injury. Weed control is best if the first flush has been completed as soil clods will have melted to leave a more even surface upon which to apply residual herbicides.

Why is it important to mix Stomp with Gramoxone and Magister?

Because the mixture works extremely well. Stomp is insoluble in water and is tied up rapidly by organic matter. Magister is highly water soluble and less prone to tie up. They complement each other as they have slightly different spectrums of herbicidal activity, eg: both are active against barnyard and silvertop grass, but Stomp also controls dirty Dora and some broadleaf seedlings.

Tank mixing Stomp and Magister enables concurrent delivery of two alternate modes of herbicidal action on the same cohort of weeds; a critical strategy for deferring herbicide resistance. Gramoxone is added to ensure any early germinating weeds are removed that would otherwise survive the two pre-emergence herbicides.

Application of the 3 way mixture before crop emergence ensures that early weed competition doesn’t occur, thus maximising rice crop yield potential. 

I commend this treatment to any rice grower who chooses to drill sow their crop.

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THE AUSTRALIAN Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has formally implemented its new label instructions for use of 2,4-D-based herbicides, designed to reduce spray drift incidents.

The changes will include a requirement not to spray in inversion conditions, downwind mandatory no spray zones for both aquatic and terrestrial off target vegetation, including sensitive crops, gardens, landscaping vegetation, protected native vegetation or protected animal habitat, and a requirement to use nozzles producing droplets no smaller than the Very Coarse spray quality category.

The APVMA requires all users to follow the new instructions, even if they have the old labels on older product. Visit the APVMA Website for the new instructions for use.

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Rice Extension would like to demonstrate water saving practices on a paddock scale and we are looking for a number of sites to do this.

We are setting up one site in Coleambally in collaboration with rice grower - Ian Payne. Thanks to Coleambally Irrigation who are supplying the pipework and Alex Schultz from NSW DPI who will setup the water measurement gear. The Viand crops will be drill sown and irrigated separately with one paddock conventionally irrigated and the other with delayed permanent water. Ian is keen to learn how much water he will save by delaying permanent water and by planting a shorter season variety.

We will keep you updated on the water use and yield outcomes at field walks and in our communications throughout the season.

We are now searching for other opportunities to measure the on-farm water use and yield:

  • Drill sown crops with different irrigation management such as delayed permanent water

  • Drill sown crops compared to dry broadcast/aerial sown

Are you growing two paddocks of rice where the water use can be measured separately on each paddock?

  • With plans or a willingness to irrigate the two paddocks differently for comparisons.

  • And are happy to let us share what you are doing with other growers?

If your plans suit a comparison like this in some way, please let us know!

Contact Leah Garnett on 0455 558 035 or lgarnett@rga.orga.au

Utilising the moisture left in the profile after rice: Barley (left) sown into rice fallow that hasn’t been irrigated and will go through to harvest. Barley (right) sown on canola stubble same variety and same day that won't be harvested.

Stay tuned to learn the $ advantage of the rice fallow.

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Please remember:

  • Drainage water treated with Magister® can cause crop damage if used on sensitive crops, such as corn.

  • No residues are permitted in off-farm drainage water: residues can be greatly minimised by not draining rice water into drains within 28 days of pesticide application.

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Most growers spray Gramoxone®, Magister®, Stomp® 3-way mix on their conventionally irrigated drill sown rice after sowing and prior to rice emergence. This application is relatively cheap at about $89/ha.

However, when permanent water is delayed, it is almost guaranteed that you will need to apply a follow up spray, commonly Barnstorm™ or Aura®.

Total estimated costs of the extra backup spray at $160/ha (including aerial application) and a predicted yield reduction of 0.5 t/ha (at $250/ha for ReiziqA) will be $410/ha.

However, with the water savings from delaying permanent water, more water will be available to sow a larger area of rice, so it is important to make comparisons by gross margin per ML rather than per ha.

Our calculations show that if you achieve a water saving of at least 1 ML/ha by delaying permanent water, then the extra area of rice will cover the cost of the extra herbicide and the potential yield loss. Remember, research has shown you can save at least 2 ML/ha water.

For example the drill sown Reiziq crop using 12 ML/ha achieved $340/ML, while the delayed permanent water crop using 11 ML/ha achieved $341/ML, when the water saved was used to grow more crop. This means if the grower has 1000 ML available, then they can grow 83 ha of drill sown rice and 91 ha of rice with delayed permanent water. The total gross margin will be $340,000 for drill sown and $341,000 for DPW, including the extra cost of herbicide application and 0.5 t/ha yield loss.


Growers at the Drill sowing Field Walk at Widgelli discussed the key points for best establishment –ground preparation in different conditions after a dry winter, uniform depth and applying the 3-way mix on time.


Grain yield of water management treatments from Leeton experiment 2017-18 Brian Dunn NSW DPI. Note the DPW (delayed permanent water) crop yielded as well as the other sowing methods using ETo accumulation as a scheduling tool.

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Drill sowing rice and delaying the application of permanent water until Christmas requires courage. But there are tools to with irrigation scheduling decisions to prevent yield loss from excessive water stress while maximising water savings.

In the NSW DPI experiment shown above Brian Dunn used the daily evapotranspiration (ETo) data to schedule irrigations:

  • Irrigate at a cumulative ETo of 60mm for lighter soil types up to 80 mm for heavy soil types.

  • When the plants are small and not using as much water use crop coefficients to extend the period between irrigations. Use crop coefficients of 0.6 and 0.8 for early and late November respectively and 1.0 for December.

  • Use the daily ETref_t (mm) for Griffith, Hay, Finley and Tullakool. They can be found here: http://weather.csiro.au/ 

  • Take off any daily rainfall amounts from the cumulated amount and disregard any rain below 5mm as it is ineffective and above 25mm as this will likely runoff.

  • Using ETo to manage irrigation timing improves irrigation planning allowing water ordering for the next irrigation according to forecast weather.

  • Remember to manage the second flush around herbicide and crop emergence needs.

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Ben Ovenden and team from NSW DPI and the University of Technology Sydney are asking the question. Hybrid technology could be a way of extracting a large genetic gain from elite Australian germplasm in a short time to rapidly realise the yield and water productivity benefits of hybrid rice.

Read all about this and other stories in the latest IREC Newsletter:


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Dry broadcast crop (left) and drill sown crop (right) on the 2nd December, just prior to filling of the drill sown crop with permanent water.

Steve Cremasco, Widgelli rice grower, used 1.2ML/ha less water in his drill sown crop compared to his dry broadcast crop but both paddocks achieved the same yield. Read about how he managed the 2 crops here.

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Farm Operations

  • Ensure chemicals for drill sown rice are on farm

  • Get a copy of the new 2,4-D Label for use to familiarise yourself with the changes

  • Put out wildlife control equipment when filling your rice bays up so they don’t get settled in.

  • Install depth peg markers when going to permanent water

  • Ensure the person responsible for the water management of aerial sown rice is familiar with the water levels required for the different herbicide programs

  • Ensure runoff water which have had herbicides applied don’t leave your farm


  • Calibrate and check the boom spray in preparation for spraying drill sown rice

  • Ensure drainage of drill sown crops occur within 24 hours from time of inundation and if it doesn’t what measures need to be taken to ensure that drainage occurs within 24 hrs on the second flush to decrease ponding and seedling deaths

  • Make sure stops between bays are water tight to ensure water levels are maintained at appropriate levels when applying herbicides to aerial sown rice crops.


  • Place seed order via SunRice Grower services web portal

  • Do you need additional finance? Consider options such as GrowRice finance or speak to your bank manager.

  • Renew game license and complete the Wildlife Identification Test.

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Rice Extension, in conjunction with AgriFutures and Ricegrowers’ Association, are pleased to launch the inaugural 2019 Rice Industry Awards. The awards are a new initiative aimed at bringing growers and industry together to celebrate the current and future success of the rice industry.

The 2019 Rice Industry Awards will comprise three categories:

  • Rice Industry Grower of the Year Award

  • Rice Extension Highest Yields for C19 Award

  • Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia Honorary Councillor Award.

Nominations for the inaugural 2019 Rice Industry Awards will open in March 2019, details will be made available in the New Year.

We invite all industry supporters to partner with us to promote the inaugural Awards and champion outstanding rice farmers leading the way in an exceptional industry. To learn more about partnership opportunities, interested partners can obtain a copy of the 2019 Rice Industry Awards Partnership Prospectus by contacting Angela Wakeman, Sauce communications E: angela@saucecommunications.com.au T: 02 6953 7382

Details are available on the Rice Extension website

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We are seeking applications for our Introduction to the Rice Industry Program from new and/or inexperienced people with a passion and interest in the rice industry. This program will engage the next generation of leaders with the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture. They will gain exposure to leaders in industry associated organisations.

This program will give participants an opportunity to explore the different leadership paths in the industry and discover the path that is right for them.

For more information click here.

Contact Ainsley Massina, Leadership Coordinator, RGA

amassina@rga.org.au | 0428 859 214

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All irrigators are invited to hear an overview of water markets and trends including how irrigators are changing their portfolios. The MDBA and DPI Water will explain resource assessment and allocation and how to interpret the fortnightly updates.

Supported by H2OX, RGA and Rice Extension

27 November -    Caldwell and Blighty or Old Coree

13 November -    Griffith and Coleambally

More information will be coming out soon.

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10am to 2pm November 21 at Wakool Club

Lock in this date to come along to hear from a number of fascinating speakers and network over lunch and morning tea.