Rice Extension Newsletter April 2018


Rice Extension Newsletter April 2018

Rice Extension has been out and about catching up with many growers over the harvest period. Harvest has started early this season with perfect conditions and the number of deliveries per day has peaked already at AGS receival sites. There have been reports of some great yields from all varieties but some low grain moistures are a concern.   

  • Grain moisture research
  • Download the SunRice Harvest App
  • Using desiccants on lodged crops
  • Snail control trial results
  • Preparation for next season – who knows what the allocation will be in October?
  • Planning season is here: use Rice$cenario to assess your options
  • Using the BoM MetEye feature when planning to burn rice stubble
  • Free Farm Biosecurity Planner for rice growers
  • A hot burn will reduce stem rot infections
  • Your rice levies at work in your local area
  • Expressions of interest for the Rice Extension steering group
  • Apply now for the Rice Industry Leadership Program 2018-2020 - Foundations of Leadership Course
  • Fully funded Agskilled Advanced spray workshops – courses are filling fast RSVP now
  • Save the date for upcoming events:
  • ·       Food and Fibre with Flair – A networking and knowledge-building event brought to you by WinCott and Rice Extension’s Women in Rice – June 19, Griffith Pioneer Park Museum
  • Business and Technology Forums: Deniliquin June 13, Barham June 14

Grain moisture

Warm to hot drying conditions have accelerated the grain maturity and drying process so far this season. Grain moisture of some deliveries has been low, but cracking may be minimal if we continue to have few heavy dews and little rain on the dry rice grains.

Rachel Wood, from NSW DPI and CSU Functional Grains Centre spoke at the Rice Industry Field Day about her research into the impact of farmer practices on rice grain quality. Rachel says we still have a lot to learn about rice grain quality. SunRice quality appraisal results indicate factors other than grain moisture at harvest are affecting whole grain yield. This project is investigating the impact of irrigation management, plant density, nitrogen rate and timing of application on grain quality.

Rachel’s poster from the Rice Industry Field Day can be found here.


Photo: Mark Talbot, QAC Imaging Project Coordinator, AGS

Keep up to date during harvest by installing the SunRice Harvest App. Type the following web address into your browser:


Desiccants on lodged crops


As temperatures become milder, dry down will become slower especially on lodged crops. The use of a desiccant may help improve the harvest efficiency. Growers in the Murray and Murrumbidgee have used this tool with success already this season. More information: here

Snail control research update – Rice Field Day 2018 - Mark Stevens NSW DPI

Find other videos from Mark Stevens at the Rice Industry Field Day here.

Preparation for next season – who knows what the allocation will be in October?

If allocations are low, prepare now to create an opportunity to sow into moisture. More growers drill sowed rice into moisture with success this season.

  • Work ground early prior to winter rain for a firm seedbed next season.
  • Conserve moisture and retain rainfall throughout winter with a planned knockdown herbicide program.
  • Planting early utilises soil moisture at depth and makes use of any spring rainfall that may occur to assist early growth. Planting early also offsets some delay in crop development resulting from any water stress.
  • It is still vital to control weeds – When applying the knockdown and pre-emergent herbicide program (Gramoxone + Magister + Stomp) use press wheels or rollers to close the planting slot. Wait until the crop is close to emergence before spraying. As little as 5 mm of rainfall will activate the Stomp, according to Malcolm Taylor, Agropraisals.
  • If the crop emerges too quickly, then drop the Gramoxone from the mix. The use of propanil, Barnstorm or Aura will control barnyard grass after crop emergence.

Conditions for sowing in the 2016–17 rice season were very challenging, many growers sowed into moisture, and then after the crop had emerged and conditions were dry enough, they pulled up banks and installed irrigation infrastructure. Read the Case Study here: https://riceextension.org.au/documents/2017/11/8/c71q5t7jilkjpdwmti3hicqfvl5ivx


Planning season is here: Rice$cenario

It is the time of year when difficult decisions have to be made about next irrigation season. Rice$cenario is a simple to use budgeting tool that can help you plan your irrigation program.

Below is an example of how Rice$cenario can be used.

In this example, the grower is making decisions around how much area of crop to grow in the coming season. This example compares rice with pre-watered wheat using the 1200 ML the grower has budgeted on having available.


Your own result will be different, depending on water availability, your cropping program, management, water purchases and many other factors. Use Rice$cenario to help with your own budget, using your own costs and water use estimates.

Give us a call at Rice Extension for assistance in using Rice Scenario. Go to the link here: http://ricescenario.sunrice.com.au/

Burning rice stubble

Before lighting up check the wind speed and direction and mixing height information in the MetEye section of the of the Bureau of Meteorology’s website: http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/?ref=ftr . This provides excellent information on current and predicted burning conditions including wind speed and direction. (Note this is not available on the BoM app yet.)

From the screen shots below, the conditions on Wednesday at 1300 look promising.


The wind ‘speed + direction’ tool, look for wind direction to avoid towns and roads, and purple colours for the best wind speed.


The ‘mixing height’ tool, look for dark orange and red high mixing heights as indicators of the best conditions for burning.

Free Farm Biosecurity Planner for Rice Growers

Rice growers are constantly faced with biosecurity situations. Movement of plants, equipment and people on and off properties, packaging and transport of produce, and movement of vehicles are all opportunities for biosecurity risks to occur and pests, diseases or weeds to be moved about.

Growers are responsible to make sure they are not creating adverse risk to others, or the rice industry, in the actions taken.  The recently introduced General Biosecurity Duty (NSW) and General Biosecurity Obligation (QLD) encourage us to consider our practices to ensure we don’t create biosecurity risks, and are prepared to deal with them when they occur.

The rice industry has recently worked closely with NSW DPI to produce a new ‘Farm Biosecurity Planner’ specific to our industry. The purpose of this farm biosecurity planner is to assist you with identifying the biosecurity risks on your farm and provide guidance on how to address them. If we all commit to starting a farm biosecurity plan on our properties today then we are well on the way to becoming one of Australia’s most protected industries.

To receive your free copy of the Farm Biosecurity Planner contact Rebekah Pierce at rebekah.pierce@dpi.nsw.gov.au

A hot burn will reduce stem rot infections

Infected stubble is the source of new infections so a hot burn will reduce stem rot. If burning is not possible, then incorporation of the stubble after harvest is better than leaving it on the surface. Avoid intensive rice crop rotations – rice-on-rice, as stem rot can survive from year to year.

>>More information


Stem rot causes blackening of the leaf sheaths and under severe disease pressure, can rot the stem causing lodging and/or yield loss - infected rice on right compared to uninfected rice on left.

Your rice levies at work in your local area:


Drill sown herbicide demonstration trials across all regions this season. Rice Extension in conjunction with Malcolm Taylor at Agropraisals and Dow AgroSciences. The new herbicide performed very well – keep an eye out for the results in coming newsletters.

Expressions of interest for the Rice Extension steering group

The Rice Extension Steering group will assist our team target extension and research ensuring it is relevant to growers. The group will provide:

  • Feedback on our activities
  • Awareness of current grower issues
  • Input into new initiatives

Interested rice growers are invited to apply. The time commitment will be one face-to-face meeting and one teleconference each year.

We will select a maximum of 8 people from across the region who have an understanding of rice management issues with a variety of skills, ages and genders to add to our connections with growers.

Please call Gae to discuss your interest on 0419 790019

Rice Industry Leadership Program 2018-2020 - Foundations of Leadership Course

Session 1 – Monday 28 May to Friday 1 June 2018 inclusive at Deniliquin

Session 2 – Tuesday 3 to Thursday 5 July 2018 inclusive at Leeton

This program has be developed by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation in conjunction with the RGA.

Develop the ability to influence others and to contribute to the future success of the rice industry and the broad agricultural industry:

  • Experiential challenge activities
  • Self-awareness
  • Group Skills and engagement
  • Facilitating effective meetings
  • Conflict management – Having ‘real’ conversations
  • Leadership vs Management
  • 360 degree feedback
  • Development of personal learning plans

The Rice Industry Leadership Program is supported by the Federal Government’s $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund and by the five key organisations servicing the rice industry: The RGA, AgriFutures Australia, Rice Extension, SunRice and The Rice Marketing Board for the State of NSW (RMB).

For more information and to apply for the Foundations of Leadership Course please visit: http://www.rga.org.au/education/awards-and-scholarships.aspx

Fully funded Agskilled Advanced spray workshops

- including certification and individual work site visits. Get in quick RSVPs are essential:

  • DENILIQUIN – Tues 22 May – RSVP before April 22
  • FINLEY - Tues 29 May – RSVP before April 29
  • JERILDERIE – Tues 5 June – RSVP before May 5
  • GRIFFITH – Tues 26 June – course FULL
  • LEETON - Tues 3 July – RSVP before 3 June

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.