Rice Extension Newsletter April 2019


Rice Extension newsletter | April 2019

Welcome to the April edition of the Rice Extension Newsletter. It has been a busy month! We’ve been out and about introducing our new team to farmers and industry people. With more than 60% of this year’s crop harvested growers are turning towards winter cropping.

Fantastic to hear positive results from C19 harvest with many farmers happily sharing photos and videos on Twitter and Facebook, so please don’t forget to tag us, we’d love to hear from you!

Twitter or Facebook @RiceExtension

Articles this month:

  • Harvest Update

  • Rice straw harvesting and treatment with ammonium gas

  • Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP)

  • AgriFutures Rice Advisory Panel

  • Agronomic Tip

  • Chemical residue and tie up in rice

  • Crunching the numbers on double cropping

  • GRDC Webinars

  • Understandng more about weather forecasts and water trade in Nth Victoria

  • RIEC: Farmers Newsletter

  • Rural Financial counselling service

  • MPHN Community Grants

  • Agsafe - Heavy Vehicle Motor Law

  • Feeding Livestock - Fodder Warnings

  • Calendar of Operations

Upcoming events:

Monday 20th & 21st May 2019 (Postponed from 1-2 April)
Free SMARTtrain chemical application (Level 3) course, Wakool
For people that use pesticides with powered and hand-held application equiptment.
Contact Kellie Gorong on 02 6951 2775 or e-mail kellie@gorong@dpi.nsw.gov.au
You must register 21 days prior to attending to enable qualification for funding.
Application from can be found here

Thursday 1st & 2nd August
RGA Conference and 2019 Rice Industry Awards Dinner, Corowa NSW


Deliveries Received

With over 34,000T delivered so far to AGS depots. Regionally we are about half way through in the Murray and just under three quarters in the Murrumbidgee and Coleambally areas. 

Delivery Moisture

Average moisture is still coming in at 19.7% and whilst there has been a few growers delivering grain below 16%. This year there have been changes to delivery moisture limits at AGS site, for more information please contact depots. 


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.

Whilst there are not many confirmed finished whole 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 degree). Lodging is now an issue with crops appearing to particularly lodge as grain moisture drops.

Drill sown crops also did have some issues this season, more information will be available after the season.

Water Use

Generally for all summer crops, water use has been up between 10-20% due to the extreme temperatures in January and no rainfall. 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. 

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

Birds in crop.jpg


Rice Extension went to see firsthand the baling and gassing of rice straw occurring this season at Coleambally.  The rice straw was baled and wrapped the morning after harvest, and the bales treated with ammonium gas at a later stage. Treating rice straw with ammonia gas increases the protein, energy and digestibility. However, there are several passes that need to occur, and paddock compaction and timeliness of sowing for the following winter crop needs to be weighed against the extra income received from straw.
The Australian Fodder Industry Association has an article on the feed quality of rice straw treated with ammonium gas. The article also has tips on how to harvest the rice straw to improve its nutritional value, as well as a case study of a dairy farmer utilising rice straw in drought conditions.  Rice straw can never replace a complete ration, yet in drought conditions it can be an economically viable option to form part of the ration.
For more information, refer back to last month’s newsletter article ‘Alternative Rice Stubble Management this Harvest’ or NSW DPI’s Rachel Whitworth’s Rice Note on the use of rice straw and silage in 2003.


The Australian Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) aims to demonstrate the environmental sustainability and value of the Australian Rice Industry to regional and national communities. It is being adapted from the co-convened Internation Rice Research and UN Environmental Sustainable Rice Platform.

An initiative of SunRice, the platform involves recording the range of farm management and agronomic practices that a rice grower uses to grow rice. The platform aims to showcase the high level of sustainable management that Australian rice growers apply to produce premium quality rice grain with water productivity equal to or superior to anywhere else in the world.  

In addition to SunRice, three key stakeholders in the roll out include the Ricegrowers Association, Murray and Riverina Local Land Services, and the Australian Government which has provided funding the Regional Land Partnership component of the National Landcare Program. 

This year, 20 rice growers will participate in a second pilot of the program to provide feedback and assist in the development of simple to use steps that will assist with compliance and reporting.  

Ultimately, the Australian SRP should provide higher returns to growers and genuine recognition for their higher levels of productivity and sustainable management of natural resources.

Kimberley Beer, SRP team member from Murray Local Land Services during harvest on the Sutherlands Coleambally property.

Kimberley Beer, SRP team member from Murray Local Land Services during harvest on the Sutherlands Coleambally property.


AgriFutures welcome new growers onto Rice Program Advisroy Panel. 
For full press release click here. 

Antony Vagg, John Smith (AgriFutures, General Manager Research) Laura Kaylock and Drew Braithwaite (Chair of Rice Advisory Panel)

Antony Vagg, John Smith (AgriFutures, General Manager Research) Laura Kaylock and Drew Braithwaite (Chair of Rice Advisory Panel)


With the short term forecast not looking great for winter sowing here are a few tips from the RE team that could reduce your input costs. 

Soil tests

The value of on farm soil test is often overlooked. Due to the dry nature and decline in yield last winter, some nutrients may have been stored in soil profile and left untouched.

A simple 0-10cm sample can provide insight into nutrients that are leftover from last year’s crops.  Identifying nutrient levels could reduce your upfront fertiliser at sowing, topdressing requirments of identify the need for mirco or marco nutrients. 

Western Murray Land Improvement Group & Researcher Leigh Vial have just finished a trial looking at the Mid rowing banding of fertiliser post Rice Crop. To read the article click the link here.

Chem residue.PNG

Some chemicals can remain active in soils for weeks, months or even years after application. Be mindful about chemicals use and residue carryover for paddocks when choosing areas for winter cereals. Current dry conditions will increase chance of residual hangover after winter 2019 season.

Chemical groups to be aware of

Group A -

Group B – e.g.: metsulfuron, chlorsulfuron

Group C – e.g.: atrazine, simazine, metribuzin 

Carryover of chemicals can be influenced by the following

  • Temperature

  • Rainfall

  • Organic Matter 

  • Soil type & texture

A more detailed article about Herbicide Carryover from preceding winter crops by Malcolm Taylor can be found by clicking here


Unsure about variety selection for your winter cropping rotation? Look at the National Variety Trial data for you region. With information on wheat, barley, pulses and oil seed crops there is data available for everyone. With information about drought tolerant varieties, hay or grain crops and soil suitability its worth a quick read to make sure your choosing the right seed.

Click here to access NVT information


GRDC have just release an online series of videos relating to the growth and management of pulse crops. So if you’re thinking about how to maximize on your stored moisture in rice stubble consider growing a high value pulse crop.

Double cropping.PNG

An earlier edition of IREC (No. 198- Spring 2017) discusses double cropping and choosing the right crop sequence. It provides a link to a decision support tool as an easy way to compare gross margins and plan for different rotations over a 5 year period.

Understanding more about weather forecasts and water trade in Northern Victoria

Troy attended an update on weather forecasting hosted by Vic DPI last Friday and some of the learnings from BOM Agriculture Program Included.

  •  Forecasting - Dale Gray, Vic DPI

  • Water Trade Market Trends in Nth Victoria Reveiw

  • Accurate 14 day forecast is about 3 years away

  • Farmers need to consider their level of risk for the work they are doing

  • Seasonal forecast have variable skill (Accuracy) month to month 

  • How to interpret daily forecast diagram 

Detailed report of Troy’s day can be found by clicking here


Drones at the service of agricutlure: what services can this technology really provide for farmers? There has been a lot of hype around drones and its capabilities for precision agriculture. Drones are a handy and valuable tool, but what they do apart from taking great pictures? Carlos Ballester and John Hornbuckle in the latest IREC edition discuss drones and their use in agriculture as well as go through the considerations when flying a drone. 



The Rural Financial Counselling Service is a free and confidential service available to primary producers who are at risk of financial hardship or suffering financial hardship. Our services include:

  • Accessing government assistance, e.g. the Farm Household Allowance, Drought Assitance and Farm Innovation Fund Loans, emergency water rebates and transport subsidies. 

  • Assissting with farm business planning, for example developing cash flow budgets / forecasts and business plans. 

  • Helping primary producers to understand their financial position and the future options for their business. 

  • Helping to managme the relationship with lender(s) and understanding loans. 

  • Farm decision making, helping primary producers to make everyday financial / operational decisions. 

  • Succession Planning

  • Referring primary producers to other services that may be ablet to assist. 



The Murrumbidgee Primary Health Fund are helping support drought affected communities with Grants from $1500 - $30,000 available. Open to all community groups, councils or businesses holding an event or training to support mental health and wellbeing of communities.

For more information about what type of activities could be eligible for funding or to apply visit
www.mphn.org.au or call 02 6923 3100


Agsafe: Chain of responsibility – Master Code
Make sure you up to date with new Heavy Vehicle National Law and the associated Master Code, effective October 2018. Agsafe has a free online introductory course that ideally all employees and employers should complete. Course takes about 30-40 minutes and you receive a certificate after completion. Click here to complete course.https://www.agsafe.org.au/events/event/chain-of-responsibility-master-code


Thinking about feeding cotton trash to your livestock in the coming weeks? Make sure you are aware of the strict policies around feeding cotton trash and or failed cotton crops in your feed ration. Some useful resources from LLS District Vets can be found below.

MLA: https://www.mla.com.au/lpa-alternative-feedstuff
APVAM: http://permits.apvma.gov.au/PER87001.PDF

For more information please contact
LLS District Veterinarian
Riverina and Murray Local Land Services
Deniliquin: 03 5881 9919
Hay: 02 6990 1304