Rice Extension Newsletter March 2018


Welcome to the March Rice Extension Newsletter

Well harvest is upon us already. Deliveries are coming in to all depots. Note some grain moistures have been low – so please check your crop – it might be closer to harvest than you think. Find more info about draining prior to harvest here. All the best for a great harvest from the Rice Extension team.

Download the SunRice Harvest App for opening and closing times at depots and more harvest information and save to your homepage.

In this newsletter: 

  • Farm Appraisals examples from 2017 as a reminder to start harvesting as soon as the crop is ready 
  • Rice harvester setup
  • Options to secure water for the 2018/19 season
  • Growing reliable, high yielding wheat crops immediately after rice
  • Annual Rice Industry Field day
  • Rice in a double cropping program - One Paddock, 2.5 years = 5 crops
  • Organic/biodynamic field Walk
  • Legal requirements for chemical spraying
  • Upcoming events - Agskilled Advanced spray workshops

Reminder to start harvesting as soon as the crop is between 18 to 22% grain moisture to maximise whole grain yield

Start harvesting as soon as the crop is between 18 to 22% grain moisture for best whole grain yield

High quality grain is required to sell rice into high quality markets that deliver high prices to growers. 

SunRice Grower Services Mark Groat and Anna Jewell have spent time talking to growers about the 2017 harvest and appraisals results. The graphs below represent the results of an analysis of the Reiziq crop on two farms – one with excellent WGY and the other with poor WGY%

Farm 1 :

  • This farm is an example of an excellent whole grain yield result of 65.7-67.4% achieving a premium compared to the variety average of 56.1%.
  • The average moisture of all daily deliveries was above 18% moisture.
  • The crop was harvested quickly, over 2000 tonnes delivered within 7 days. Two headers were used during the peak periods to get the crop off prior to the rain on the 21st April.

Farm 2:

  • This farm received a whole grain yield of 47.6%, which resulted in a discount for low WGY%.
  • The likely explanation of this is that there was a low starting moisture of 14.2% followed by 50 mm rain.
  • Rain increases the moisture on 29th April after a late delivery on 28th from harvest prior to the rain. So even though the majority of the grain was delivered between 16 and 18% moisture, this was an after rain induced moisture. The dry grain absorbed moisture during the rain events and then dried again - this is what induces cracking.
  • Had harvest started at a higher grain moisture earlier in April, then the majority of the harvest could have been delivered at higher moisture and prior to the April rain event.
  • The crop was drained too late which delayed harvest.

If you would like more information about your harvest deliveries then contact SunRice Grower Services Mark in the Murrumbidgee 0419 174772, and Anna in Murray 0409 567429.

Rice Harvester Setup

Harvesting rice is the most expensive field activity. The timing, duration and mode of conduct of the harvest have a direct bearing on rice quality, efficiency, and on growers’ incomes. A delayed or protracted harvest often will downgrade the whole grain mill appraisal.

The Rice Harvester Reference book contains information collected from research completed in 1999 around rice harvester setup, stripper vs conventional fronts, how to measure harvest losses, how to maximise grain quality and reduce trash.

Find the book on the Rice Extension website or click the link here.


Options to secure water for the 2018/19 season

When planning for the coming irrigation season, you may be hearing and thinking about options for securing water and improving your water security. It is important to assess both the pros and the cons of these options.

The following information comes from the Ricegrowers’ Water Toolkit. To access the full toolkit click here.

Growing reliable, high yielding wheat crops immediately after rice

Wheat after rice is a great opportunity to improve the productivity of rice farming systems in southern NSW. The system results in higher per mega litre margins by productively using the water remaining in the soil after rice and higher returns to capital invested in irrigation infrastructure by double cropping.

Sam North NSW DPI has just released a Prime Fact with the information you need to know to grow high yielding rice after wheat – read this very timely information here.

The recommendations are a combination of advice from successful growers and the results from crop monitoring and research trials. The key message is to sow early with sufficient seed and fertiliser, but do not proceed with a top-dressing program until you are sure you have a crop that is worth applying the additional nitrogen.

Wheat crops sown straight after rice have lower tillering due to the cool wet soil. The table (above) shows the sowing rate required to achieve a target yield for wheat sown after rice (assuming a seed weight of 40g/1000grains, 2.5 tillers per plant and 60% establishment).
More information about growing high yielding crops in rotation with rice can be found on the Rice Extension website here.


Annual Rice Industry Field Day

250 people heard the latest updates from breeding, water efficiency, grain quality and insect pest researchers. They were shown how to cross rice varieties to breed new ones, and disease, pest and weed ID and control. Giveaways included a Farm Biosecurity Planner USB, Kelloggs product, hats and more.

There was a strong rice quality theme that resonated with growers around the importance of high whole grain yields. Kelloggs told us that they love Rieziq with its good ‘puffing’ ability for Rice Bubbles, but that broken grains do not ‘puff’ so their limit is 4% maximum whole grain in the rice delivered from SunRice. Kelloggs also love our ‘clean and green’ rice, which matches the company’s sustainability goals.

While a change of venue gave a great insight to the NSW DPI Yanco Agricultural Research Station, it proved to be a fitting venue to launch and name the YRM70 rice variety to be known as Viand. 

Further details of the presentations can be found here.


Rice in a double cropping program - One Paddock, 2.5 years + 5 crops

Chris and Sue Hardy of Coleambally have benefited from the adoption of the newly released short season variety Viand (YRM70) and improved irrigations layouts to increase the productivity, profitability and efficiency of their farming business.

The adoption of these new technologies has allowed the Hardy’s to successfully include rice in a double cropping program. They have grown five crops in two and a half years, alternating Viandwith winter cereals on an irrigation layout of beds in bays. Total gross margin achieved across the two years was $7343 per hectare.

Read this article and others in the latest IREC Farmer’s Newsletter here.

Organic/biodynamic field walk

At Bill Barnhill’s farm at Wamoon on 7 March Bill gave us an insight into being an organic farmer and detailed his management practices to grow high yielding organic rice crops. The day also included an inspection of variety and nutrition trials with Peter Snell, NSW DPI followed by a SunRice talk about the growing demand for organic/biodynamic rice and a talk from Neil Bull, RGA on new legume varieties to plant into rice stubble.
Key points:

  1. Bill controlled rice weeds through a long rotation out of rice into pasture and timely irrigation management to drown weeds.
  2. The new variety Viand (YRM70) is a potential option for organic growers in water-short years, particularly as it has good seedling vigour to outgrow weeds.
  3. The demand for organic rice within SunRice markets is growing and SunRice are developing an ‘in conversion’ program.

 More information and notes from the day can be found here.

Legal requirements for chemical spraying

Keeping records of pesticide use is a requirement of state government regulations.
Records must be kept by all people who use pesticides for commercial or occupational purposes, such as on a farm, on produce, or as part of their job or business.

In addition to regulatory requirements, it is responsible farming practice to keep spray records.

Benefits of keeping spray records include:

  • detailed recording of weather conditions reduces the risk of spray drift
  • monitoring the performance of pesticide applied can lead to more efficient spray practices
  • maintains records for farm Work Health and Safety Programme
  • allows the tracking of grazing and harvesting withholding periods
  • allows tracking of plant back periods for susceptible crops
  • provides necessary data for quality assurance requirements
  • can be used to help identify chemical resistance development of the target species
  • demonstrates that farmers take due care and attention when applying chemicals

The details of what needs to be recorded for each spraying operation are set out on the spray record sheets in the Spray records and calibration methods booklet on the Rice Extension website here.  More information is available on the NSW DPI website here.


Upcoming events - Agskilled Advanced Spray Workshops

Agskilled Advanced spray workshops including individual work site visits coming up in May and June. Get in quick RSVPs are essential! 

  • DENILIQUIN – Tues 22 May
  • FINLEY -  Tues 29 May – workshop
  • HOLBROOK – Tues 12 June
  • OAKLANDS – Tues 19 June
  • GRIFFITH – Tues 26 June
  • LEETON - Tues 3 July

To register your interest, contact Cath on 02 6345 5818 or 0437 455818 or email craig.day@bigpond.com
More information can be found here.