Rice Extension Newsletter July 2018


Japan has just released the first commercial driverless tractor – Russell Ford on new technologies in rice from around the world: at the Griffith Business and technology forum.


Rice Extension Newsletter | July 2018

The Rice Extension team are funded directly by your rice R&D levy and the Australian Government through AgriFutures Australia.

We are an independent body working for growers and their advisors to provide the information and tools to improve on-farm productivity, profitability and sustainability.

Our website contains a library of articles, research and best practice information on rice growing. Check it out here:  riceextension.org.au 

Stories this month:

  • Yield report 2017-18 results for each variety in each region
  • Adopting new technologies in our farming operations
  • Workplace Health and Safety: Winter is the time to get safety ready.
  • Water for Wildlife and Rice: a crowd funding initiative
  • Nominate for the Australian Farmer of the Year
  • Join the Women in Rice Facebook Group
  • Controlling fleabane in winter

Upcoming events:

  • Plan2Profit Agri-business Workshops - At Barham Services Club 10th August and Deniliquin RSL Club 16th & 17th August
  • RD&E Workshop – Research projects update - Yanco Agricultural Institute - 7 & 8 August
  • Agronomists Technical Update – Griffith and Deniliquin - 23 August
  • Rice 101 – for new agronomists, advisors and growers in the rice industry Jerilderie
  • Rice Pre-season meetings – Wakool, Deniliquin, Finley, Coleambally, Griffith and Whitton – 28, 29 & 29 August



Build networks with the early adopters but invest at the whole product solution stage – Paul Higgins, Futurist, on adopting new technologies: at the Griffith Business and Technology forum

Adopting new technologies in our farming operations

We have seen an explosion in investment in new technology ventures in agriculture. While this is great in itself it also increases risk. We have to be careful about how we adopt the emerging technologies and who we partner with.

An example of a set of questions you can use is the following:

  1. Do they make us money now? If a technology can make us money straight away, then this reduces the risk. For example, beef feedlots are using drones for stock counts.
  2. Do they fit into a long-term plan for our business? Long term data is going to become more and more important and the value of data grows as we get more of it over time. Therefore, the initial technology may not make money straight away but if it fits a long term vision it can still be positive.
  3. Are enough parts of the technology at a product or utility level now? Risk is higher the earlier in the arc of innovation to utility we sit. If the technology is already well along the curve this reduces risk and increases the likelihood that even if an individual company fails that we can keep using the technology.
  4. Is the technology built on top of other major business or consumer products so that most components will receive lots of ongoing investment and attention? For example, drones are built on top of the smartphone and tablet supply chain where billions are being invested continually. This means that drones benefit from that research.
  5. Do you have the capabilities/can easily source the capabilities in your area in order to keep the technology running/innovate? You need the capability of keeping stuff running. This question partly ties into questions 3, 4 and 6. If you have a utility technology that is “farm hardened” then you need less capability to keep it running.
  6. Is the technology sufficiently “hardened” to run in a commercial farm environment? Farms are harsh operating environments. There is a risk that in the rush to compete with new technologies that stuff will be rolled out that is not “farm ready”.

You need a positive answer to question 1 or 2. You must have a positive answer to questions 5 and 6. You need a more detailed assessment of questions 3 and 4.

Click here to read the full article and other information from the Griffith Business & Technology Forum.
Click here to read about On-the-go protein mapping and other information from the Deniliquin Business & Technology Forum.
Click here to read about Soil Moisture Monitoring and other information from the Barham Business & Technology Forum.


Greater than 50% of workplace fatalities in the world occur in agriculture.

A breach of duties under the WHS Act is a criminal offence and large penalties apply.
Do you understand the Chain of Responsibility laws?

What minimum record keeping is essential to demonstrate compliance for WHS and NHVR Chain of Responsibility?

There are software systems in the marketplace to assist you to tackle safety compliance on farm. At the Business and Technology Forums we heard from Safe Ag Systems who want to improve the safety of all in the rice growing community:

Rice growers are eligible for a 10% discount to purchase a subscription to Safe Ag Systems to manage your WHS obligations. Promo Code RGASAFETY expires 31 July.


Provide environmental and ecological benefits to endangered species through a surrogate wetland effect.

Provide opportunities for urban impact investors to connect with rural communities.
Access investors from outside the rice industry and our rural communities.
Water for Wildlife and Rice is a crowd funding initiative of the Ricegrowers Association of Australia, Western Murray Land Improvement Group and the Australian Govt. Farming Together Program who are working with ‘Pozible’ to promote the iniative.

The campaign begins on July 16 - so you are encouraged to have a look at the website and promote this initiative to your friends and family and consider making a pledge yourself.
All the details can be found at https://pozible.com/project/water-for-wildlife-and-rice  


Do you know someone or are you someone who would be a great representative of the Rice Industry at the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards?

The Kondinin Group has announced that nominations have now opened and will close 31 July.

The Awards are about celebrating the success, resilience, innovation and commitment of our farmers; and to share the integrity and enduring nature of our industry. Winners will be announced at an exclusive event at Parliament House, Canberra, on 16 October 2018.

Nominate now at www.farmeroftheyear.com.au

The Rice Extension team are available to assist with applications and we encourage nominations from the industry.


The Women in rice network now has a Facebook group.

Feedback from the four successful Women in Rice events we have held over the last year has been very positive and the Facebook Group was developed in response to requests for more networking, knowledge building and storytelling opportunities.

Join in the conversation and tell us about what is happening at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/womeninrice/


Targeting smaller plants during the winter fallow or winter crop phase is the key to an effective management strategy for flaxleaf fleabane according to GRDC Weedsmart research. Each plant can produce up to 110,000 seeds.

Target small weeds, still in the rosette stage, during the winter crop phase when slower growth allows more time to apply effective herbicide control options. The harder stems and large root system of larger plants enable the plants to regrow more effectively following herbicide applications.

GRDC Factsheet flaxleaf fleabane



Tony Hudson from P2P Agri demonstrated farm software to help farmers analyse their own farm data at the Barham Business and Technology Forum in June. As a follow up Tony is seeking expressions of interest for two workshops:

  • Farm Business Management Essentials - a one-day interactive workshop to help you take control of your business finances and get a better deal from your bank.  At Barham Services Club 10th August.
  • Farm Business Management Skills - two-day workshop training uses the powerful P2PAgri software to help farmers analyse their own farm data to build a financial model of their business and investigate a range of scenarios (‘what ifs’) to improve decision making. Deniliquin RSL Club 16th & 17th August

For further details on the workshops click here
Or call Tony Hudson 0407 701330 and email tony@hudsonfacilitation.com.au   
Registrations close 8th August.
Funding for 50% of value of these workshops is available through the NSW Rural Assistance Authority: https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/assistance/professional-development-program


RD&E Workshop – Research projects update - Yanco Agricultural Institute 7 & 8 August

AgriFutures and Rice Extension are inviting rice researchers along to present their up to date research results.
Researchers, advisors, agronomists and interested growers will have the opportunity to share knowledge and ideas, network and collaborate.
Please RSVP to gplunkett@rga.org.au if you would like to come along to hear more about the details and technicalities of current rice R&D projects.


Agronomists Technical Update – Griffith and Deniliquin 23 August

This update will provide agronomists with the detail needed to best serve their rice-growing clients throughout the season:

  • How to get the best out of the new rice herbicide
  • Variety specific agronomy packages
  • Negotiating skills

Save the date - More detail will be sent out to agronomists soon.


Rice 101 – for new agronomists, advisors and growers in the rice industry

Do you know a new agronomist or new grower in your area?
If you do please let them know about this course at Jerilderie. It will run over one-day 8:30 to 5:30, date to be announced.
The course will cover the basics of making money out of growing rice crops – from planning, layouts, planting, weed control and nutrition for high yields to optimising quality, varieties, pricing and gross margins.
It is a ‘must do’ for understanding rice production prior to the season start. Call us now to claim a place – more info will be coming out shortly.


Wakool and Deniliquin, 28 August
Finley and Coleambally, 29 August
Griffith and Whitton, 30 August

Lock this one in your diary as the event you need to attend to hear all the latest rice growing information prior to sowing:

  • variety premiums, delivery points and production requirements
  • new herbicides
  • achieving the best yields with the best agronomy for each variety
  • information from growers achieving high yields and best quality