Rice Extension Newsletter May 2019

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Rice Extension Newsletter | May 2019

It’s been a busy month! Troy has been in Indonesia for 14 days with the Australian Rural Leadership Program. Harriet and Charleton have spent a few days with the team at RRAPL helping with trial harvest. Harriet hosted 30 Charles Sturt University students, giving them an insight into the Rice Industry. There are some exciting events happening in the next month, make sure your following our social channels to stay updated. We hope you all engjoyed the rain last week and sowing is progressing well.

Don’t forget to tag us, we’d love to hear from you!
Twitter or Facebook @riceextension

Upcoming Events
Women in rice
Seasonal outlook
Grower of the year update
Spray drift: What’s being done in the Riverina Valley’s?
A behind the scenes look at releasing new varieties
Opportunities from the Australian Rural Leadership Program: Indonesia Trip
Educating the future of our Rice Industry
AgriFutures rice projects update
Opportunities for women in operations
Improve your employees wealth
Drought funding opportunities
Calendar of operations

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Thursday 23rd May 2019
Join the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australian & Western Murray Land Improvement Group for an opportunity to discuss Galenia control, Deer issues, Livestock Management & more at the Autumn Break sessions. 
8am Breakfast at Pretty Pine Hall 
12.30pm Lunch at Mayrung Hall 
FREE EVENT - Bookings are essential 
Click here to for more information

Finley - Tuesdy 28th May 2019
Deniliquin - Wednesday 29th May 2019
Moama - Thursday 30th May 2019

How to get the people stuff right
Join Linda Griffiths-Brown from Total HRM as she covers all aspects of the employment lifecycle. 
Cost: $25 
Tickets can be purchased here
For more informaiton contact 
Rowena Jackson: 0458 340 400 
rjackson@becadvice.com.au

Friday 14th June 2019
Women In Rice Luncheon
10.30am - 2.30pm Finley Football Ground
(information below)

Thursday 1st August & Friday 2nd August 2019
RGA Conference & 2019 Rice Industry Awards 
Corowa NSW 
More details can be found on RGA website

Wednesday 21st & Thursday 22nd August 2019
AgriFutures R&D Update
Yanco Hall 

Wondering what else is happening in the world of Ag? Check out Farm Tables - Australian Farming and Ag Calendar. 

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The Women in Rice network is a Rice Extension initiative, that aims to connect and empower rural women involved in rice farming businesses. This event acknowledges the need to foster leadership within our industry, and will focus on sharing knowledge and personal stories to inspire women in the industry. Key note speaker Kellie Crossley, Deniliquin Farmer, will discuss how her unique skill set has helped her farm business grow and improve it's profitabilty as well as manage drought. Leadership opportunities within the rice industry will be discussed, as well as the opportunity to interact with our panel of emerging and established leaders with a Q&A session. 

Event details
Women in Rice 
Finley Football Club, Finley 
Friday, June 14th 2019
10.30am to 2.30pm 
Click here to view Facebook Event

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The seasonal outlook indicates that Winter is likely to be drier than average. Data from Australian Bureau of Meterology suggests an El Nino may develop which would increase drier conditions, although the chance of this occuring has decreased slightly over the last few weeks.  

Current Dam levels: 
Lake Hume - Current volume: 506 GL = Full: 17% 
Lake Dartmouth - Current volume: 2,445 GL = Full 63% 

To read the latest NSW Water Allocation Statements click links below. 
Water Allocation Announcement for NSW Murray and Lower Darling. 
Water Allocation Announcement NSW Murumbidgee Valley

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We are pleased to announce that after a successful application process we have a strong contingent of finalist from across all three valleys. The winner will be announce at RGA Conference dinner on Thursday 1st August. For more information about Grower of The Year Awards, please visit Rice Extension website. 
We are pleased to have two new sponsor on board for the 2019 awards.

Yenda Producers is a locally owned grower cooperative, with branches in Leeton, Griffith and Yenda. Yenda Producers has a team of expert agronomists that work with members to share their expertise, advice and guidance. They are available by phone or in-person at any of their three branches and can travel to your property and farm for on-site analysis and discussion. For more information click here to visit their website. You can follow them on Facebook or Twitter @YPCAgronomy. 

Deakin is one of Australia's leading public Universities. Offering course in Business, Education, Health, Environments, Law, Media, Science and many more faculty's.  Mid year enrolements are now open

For more information visit Deakin's website

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Rice Extension attended the second stakeholder group meeting last week for SOS (Stop Off Target Spraying) Riverina Valleys. This group hopes to follow on from the success of SOS Macquarie Valley, a group of grain growers, cotton farmers , chemical suppliers, chemical resellers and agronomists that worked together to address the industry’s concern about safe chemical spraying.

Give SOS Riverina Valleys a like on facebook or twitter (@SOSRiverinaValleys) and stay tuned for events and information regarding this group.

Harriet and Charleton have spent time at NSW DPI (Yanco) and at ‘Old Coree’, Rice Research Australia Pty Ltd (RRAPL) to learn about the breeding process and lend a hand during harvest. The breeding program is funded through grower levies and partnerships between AgriFutures, SunRice and NSW DPI. 

A behind the scenes look at releasing new varieties

The development of a new variety takes approximately seven to ten years. The first part of the breeding process occurs at NSW DPI (Yanco). First crosses (30-40000) occur in the glass house and lines from these crosses are selected for seed to be bulked. Lines are then grown in short rows (1-3m) which are tested over several years. Selected short rows are then grown in small plots (5m²), and then selected again to progress to large plots (10m²). At this stage, the quality of the grain is analysed and seed bulked for testing in replicated trials. From about 200 to 300 lines, the best 40 to 50 lines are chosen and sent to RRAPL. These lines are sown into short rows (1m) and if considered suitable, they progress to a long row (27m). Varieties are also tested in district trials. This year there were 10 variety trials at RRAPL and 4 trials on grower’s farms. 

Harvesting these trials involves the collection and measurements of plot length, plant height, and straw height after harvest and grain weight from each individual plot. This information is used to predict yield potential, risk of lodging and grain quality. 

RRAPL is also where pure seed is bulked up to provide pure seed to seed growers each year. The Pure Seed Program maintains varietal purity of rice seed within the industry to ensure grain is true-to-type and free of weed seed contamination. 

Breeding trial work is a huge logistical challenge and the work of researchers and staff at RRAPL shouldn't be underestimated in order to select a new variety from thousands of potential lines.

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Troy Mauger recently visited Indonesia as part of the Australian Rural Leadership Program. Here is what Troy had to say about the trip.

I was fortunate to visit Indonesia for two weeks to explore, learn leadership in context and to learn about Australia's most important neighbour. The cities we were based at were Jakarta, Lampung and Yogyakarta. 

While we didn't talk directly to a rice farmer there was lots of discussion on Rice at the Australian Embassy and with Professors from the University of Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta and of course I ate rice at leace once a day and up to three times a day.  It was interesting that in Indonesia there is also a country city divide.  Indonesia farmers, like in Australia, face the problem of city people having a lack of understanding or connection of where food comes from, as seen in the thank a farmer photos below. 

Some interesting facts are: 

  • Indonesia is the fourth most populated country in the world, with a population reaching nearly 262 million. 

  • With an average annual GDP growth of 5-6 percent, Indonesia has become the largest economy in Southeast Asia during the past decade. 

  • Rice is the primary staple food crop with a steady increase in annual production, making Indonesia the third largest rice producer in the world Indonesia producing 80 million tonne in 2016. 

  • 93% of farmers are family farms and are less then 0.6Ha in size. 

  • Average consumption of rice is 150kg per person per annum. 

  • They can get three rice crops a year of up to 4t/ha per harvest. 

  • Pests and diseases are the biggest challenges to growing rice as there is always a host for the disease of pest to live on as the rice isn't seasonal and many stagnate planting for labour management purposes and storage/consumption of the rice once it is harvested.

Every square meter of land is utilized with rice grown on terraces on their 0.2ha plots between houses on the left and rice stubble being taken to the dairy farm 200m down the road. Indonesia has so much opportunity in front of it can navigate its way through the many challenges including pollution from 5 million new motocycles registered each year, such a large population and limited transport infrastructure. 

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Rice Extension hosted 30 first year students studying Ag Science and Ag Business Management from CSU university for a half day on 29 April. Students gained an overview of the rice industry from paddock to plate. Students visited the breeding trials at Leeton Field Station, Sunrice head office in Leeton and the Gogeldrie rice storage sheds. Students heard from a range of speakers covering off on current research and breeding trials, rice production, and an overview of RGA and SunRice. General feedback from students indicated that there is interest in a career in the rice industry upon finishing their degrees. Thank you to Mark Groat (SunRice), Graeme Kruger (RGA), Bert Collard and Brian Dunn (NSW DPI) who were involved in hosting these students and showcasing our industry.

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Here is a quick overview of the current AgriFutures research projects in Rice that are currently in progress. Annual AgriFutures Rice R&D Day will be held on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd August at Yanco Memorial Hall. 
For the latest information in Rice from AgriFutures click here. 

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Rice Extension attended the latest NAWO (National Association of Women in Operations) event.  NAWO is a not for profit association championing representation and value of women at every level. This event discussed the value of diversity, and Southern Cotton General Manager Kate O’Callaghan spoke about diversity within the workforce. A panel of speakers including Ayla Young, (Warehouse Supervisor at Southern Cotton), Amanda Culpan, (Facility Manager, Leeton Hospital) and Annaliese Giason, (HR Manager, Warburn Estate) all shared their experiences on working with women in diverse settings. Rice Extension encourages all women to attend when next held in this area, as it is relevant for any women who are decision makers or future decision makers within a business.

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While the season is quiet, now is the best time to up skill staff and make sure they have all of the appropriate training for on farm work health and safety requirements.

Available courses through AgSkilled include:

  • Advanced Spray Application

  • Agribusiness Solution

  • Agricultural Drones

  • Governance Training

  • Introduction to agronomy - Grains

  • Leadership & Management

  • On farm business management

  • Precision agronomy 

  • Prosoils grain

  • Work health & safety for managers and supervisors. 

  • Quad bike handling

Funding opportunities are available, please see AgSkilled website for more information.

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Looking for information about available resources and support during these dry times. Visit DroughtHub, NSW DPI website that provides information and available resources for farmers and rural communities. 

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May - June Grower Key Practices

Farm Operations

  • Monitoring weed control in winter cereals now it has rained, particularly those that were dry sown

  • Monitoring insect damage in pastures and early sown crops

Maintenance

  • Clean summer crop harvest equipment

Business

  • Lock in 14th June for the next Women in Rice event, Finley Apex Sport and Community Centre beginning at 10.30 am

  • Now it has rained develop a marketing strategy for winter cereal crops

  • Lock in a date with your accountant to do a pre-tax assessment in early June. Note due to the Royal Commission into the banking sector, some end of financial year tax minimisation options such a Farm Management Deposits (FMD) will take longer than previous years due ot additional regulation placed on financial institutions.