Harvest Update - C19 Grower Services
With over 34,000T delivered so far to AGS depots, we are about two thirds of the way through harvest. Regionally we are about half way in the Murray and just under three quarters in the Murrumbidgee and Coleambally areas.
Average moisture is still coming in at 19.7% and whilst there has been a few growers delivering grain below 16%, over 80% of crops being delivered are above 18% moisture. This moisture coupled with good ground conditions shows that the majority of growers got that perennially difficult drainage decision spot on, and while I certainly don’t want to scare any rain away may these ideal harvest conditions last for just a bit longer yet!
With such a high heat (day degree) year yield potential looked very good. However the main unknown to potential yield loss was from heat damage, or induced sterility, at flowering
With the majority of the extreme heat throughout January, if heat damage was to occur it was predicted to be the earlier crops. Generally speaking these are the crops that reached PI before end of December and were at mid flowering in late January. Again generally speaking dry broadcast crops were more advanced than drill sown crops and were more likely to be in the ‘heat’ window.
This has been the case with some crops suffering yield loss from heat damage. The 5-year average yield of Reiziq in the MIA is 11.7T/ha. Interestingly the first 4,000T of Reiziq finished (MIA) had an average yield of 10.6T/ha, with some recorded yields between 8 and 10 T/ha. These were the early crops. To date (based on confirmed finished farms) Reiziq in the MIA is averaging 11.8T/ha.
Whilst there are not many confirmed finished whole areas (only 7000T in this sample) there have been some exceptional yields in all areas. 13T/ha is not uncommon with the best Reiziq yield so far nudging over 15T/ha. As harvest wraps up we will analyse all results and get more detailed data back to you.
Crops are very heavy this year (again partly as a function of day degrees). Lodging is now an issue with crops appearing to particularly lodge as grain moisture drops. No-one likes down rice, it’s equally hard on machinery and labour and makes harvest such a slow process. This again highlights the importance of the drainage decision and getting the crop off at higher moisture.
Drill sown crops fare better however are not immune. Two growers near Griffith watched as over 50% of their drill sown crops lodged during one major wind storm complete with 25mm of rain in 10 minutes. As a side it is unlikely there was any significant effect on whole grain from this rain as grain moisture was still around 24% when this storm occurred.
Generally for all summer crops, water use has been up between 10 - 20% due to the extreme temperatures in January and no rainfall. More information will be collected on water use efficiencies (WUE) and water use post-harvest. Rice Extension have two water use trials happening, one comparing drill sown to dry broadcast Reiziq in Yenda and the other drill sown vs delayed permanent water on Viand in Coleambally.
Brian Dunn (DPI) also has a trial of water use and WUE comparing conventional drill, delayed permanent water and ‘aerobic’ rice. These results are not yet collated.
Again as this data is put together we will let you know results. If anyone has confirmed and accurate water use on their blocks and don’t mind sharing with us that would be fantastic. Much research and extension is going into decreasing water use and increasing water use efficiency. The more industry data we have the better picture we can create and more effectively target that research and extension.
All the best to those harvesting or yet to start. If you require more information or have any queries or issues please don’t hesitate to give me a call.
Mark Groat - Grower Services
Mob: 0419 174 772