Rice Extension Winter Newsletter 2019


The cooler weather is well and truly here! Having had our first frost this winter in the south it's safe to say the RE team is staying indoors under the heater! Fingers crossed for a few showers over the weekend, with YR and BOM Radar showing the potential of 10-15mm. 

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

Articles this month
’Breaking New Ground’ Farming for the future forum
WIR Wrap Up
Nitrogen Topdressing
Grower of the Year Update
RGA Annual Conference
RD&E Workshop
What is AquaTill
Control in non-crop aquatic and bushland situations and invasive plants
WH&S Update
Tips on Nitrogen topdressing requirements
GRDC Updates
MRL warnings in winter crops

Upcoming Events

Wednesday 24th July 2019
Breaking New Ground ‘Farming for the future forum’
8.30am – 1.30pm
Western Murray Land Improvement Group
Morning tea & Lunch Provided
Tickets $10 for non-members
Registrations coming soon

Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd August
RGA Annual Conference
Corowa RSL
To register go online and follow this link

Thursday 8th August
Breaking New Ground ‘Farming for the future forum’
8.30am – 2.00pm
Griffith Leagues Club
Morning tea & Lunch Provided
Tickets $10 
Registrations opening soon

Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd August
AgriFutures RD&E Day
NSW DPI field station Yanco
Registrations opening soon

Breaking New Ground

Rice Extension is excited to introduce 'Breaking New Ground' a forum about 'farming for the future'. These forums provide the opportunity to hear from leading speakers on how to improve your business, the latest technology, dealing with the drought and mental health and wellbeing. We invite all community members to join us for a half day workshop. $10 per person includes morning tea and lunch. We have two different locations with and event being held in Deniliquin at RSL and in Barham at Western Murray Land Improvement Group Offices. These forums have been made possible through funding from Murray Local Land Services, providing funding to support drought initiatives. 

Deniliquin Forum Topics 
Scott Mildren | Provincial Wealth | Off Farm Investment
Anthony Rudd | I-AG | My Digital Farming
Scott Ison | Murray Local Land Services | Animal Health
Warren Davies | The Unbreakable Farmer | Mental Health & Resilience
Tony Flett | Rural Financial Councillor | Drought Funding & Services 

Barham Forum Topics
Scott Mildren | Off Farm Investment | Provincial Wealth 
Peter Brick | Decipher Ag | Precision Agriculture
Elise Bowen | Sheep Data Management | Sheep Data, Selection & Management
Adrian Smith | Murray Local Land Services | Drought Business Management
Tony Flett | Rural Financial Councillor | Drought Funding Services 

Griffith Forum Topics
Scott Mildren | Off Farm Investment | Provincial Wealth 
Anthony Rudd | I-AG | My Digital Farming
Elise Bowen | Sheep Data Management | Sheep Data, Selection & Management
John Harper | Mate helping Mate | Mental Health & Resilience
Airlie Hoskins | Rural Financial Councillor | Drought Funding Services 
Ticket information coming soon

Women In Rice - Wrap Up                            

Friday 14 June saw Harriet and Charleton's first time leading the charge at the Women in Rice event at Finley. The lunch drew a crowd of 60 women across the rice, irrigation and agribusiness sectors together to listen to emerging and established leaders. The event focused on encouraging women to utilise their skills in farming and take on opportunities in leadership. The luncheon featured key note speaker, Deniliquin farmer Kellie Crossley and a Q&A panel including Ange Urqhart, Michele Groat and Laura Kaylock. Event feedback was that the day provided positive messages of encouragement and commitment to keep developing networks. Please join our online community ‘Women in Rice’ Facebook group to be involved in more events like this.

Nitrogen Topdressing

As crops approach mid tillering, it is time to start considering crop nitrogen requirements for topdressing. Many winter cereal crops this year will be grown on rice stubble, so there will be little nitrogen available without topdressing. Yet in a year with minimal water availability and a dry seasonal outlook, your nitrogen topdressing requirement should be determined by how much water you have available to finish off your crop, current soil moisture status and likely returns. Look to utilise tools such as Yield Prophet to help with your decision making. Read the full article by visiting the Rice Extension website and searching for “Getting the most out of Nitrogen and Irrigation in a tight year”. 


RGA Annual Conference

‘People of the Rice Industry’
Join Ricegrowers’ Association on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd August at Corowa RSL for their Annual Conference, including Annual General Meeting, Gala Dinner and Post Conference Tour.
The theme for the conference is ‘The People of the Industry’ celebrating out people and the success of the Rice Industry Leadership Program. The conference format this year will include breakout sessions allowing RGA to provide a greater range of speakers and more variety in the program.
A Gala Dinner will be held at All Saints Estate after the conference. The Evening will host inaugural 2019 Rice Industry Awards, with the announcement of the SunRice Grower of the Year Award, the Rice Extension Highest Yield Award and the RGA Honorary Councillor.

Visit the RGA website to view the full conference program at https://www.rga.org.au/annualconference2019 and register in Eventbrite on https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/rga-2019-annual-conference-the-people-of-the-rice-industry-tickets-63100680835

Thank you to the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network, who have a made possible the discount of 50% on ticket prices for growers and community members. Full ticket prices still apply for corporate tickets.

SunRice Grower of the Year

The SunRice Grower of the Year Award is the ultimate award which recognises innovation, new technology and latest research outcomes adopted in the rice industry. The recipient of this award will showcase high yields and high water use efficiency grown in a sustainable way with successful adoption of new technology and innovation.

The RE team and judging panel drove across the rice growing region to visit the five finalists over two days last week. The judging panel were impressed by the high calibre of each of the finalists. All finalists gave an impressive showcase of their farm management, and the judging panel’s decision was incredibly close. The winner will be announced Thursday 1 August at the RGA Gala Dinner at All Saints Estate Winery.

Rice Extension would like to thank the following businesses for supporting the Rice Industry Awards. 
This year’s awards are bring presented on Thursday 1st August at Rice Growers Conference Gala Dinner at All Saints Estate Rutherglen.

Rice Extension would like to thank the following businesses for supporting the Rice Industry Awards. 

GOY sponsors.PNG

Objection Period - Rice Research and Development Levy Proposal

The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) has submitted its Rice Research and Development Levy Proposal to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie, as follows:

“The existing statutory levy rate for rice be increased by $3.00 per tonne for the research and development component to $6.00 per tonne.”
The levy of $6.00 per tonne of rice comprises $0.06 per tonne for Plant Health Australia (no change) and $5.94 per tonne for research and development (an increase of $3.00 per tonne).
A copy of the RGA’s Levy Proposal Submission is available on the RGA website:

The Department of Agriculture ‘Levy Principles and Guidelines’ document sets out the process that the RGA must comply with in submitting this proposal. To date the RGA has completed the following steps:

  • Undertaken an extensive three month consultation program advising Levy Payers of the proposal;

  • Following this, undertaken a postal ballot of all Levy Payers to measure the level of support for the Levy Proposal. 63% of participating Levy Payers supported the Levy Proposal; and

  • Submitted the Levy Proposal to the Minister for Agriculture.

The next step is to provide all Levy Payers with the opportunity to lodge an objection to the Levy Proposal. The Objection Period commenced on Monday 24 June 2019 and will expire at 5pm on Monday 5 August 2019.

Levy Payers wishing to object should make their objections in writing to the government by:

Email at:             levies.policy@agriculture.gov.au
Post at:              Department of Agriculture – Levies, GPO Box 858, CANBERRA ACT 2601

Objections may also be made to Senator the Hon. Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Agriculture by:
Email at:             Minister.McKenzie@agriculture.gov.au
Post at:               Minister for Agriculture, PO Box 6100, Senate, Parliament House
                           CANBERRA ACT 2600

The objection must outline:
The aspects of the Levy Proposal you are objecting to; Your reasons why you oppose the Levy Proposal including supporting arguments and evidence; and
Your contact details and/or the contact details of those making the objections(s).

For assistance with lodging an objection, please contact the Department of Agriculture on
T. 02 6272 4552 or E. levies.policy@agriculture.gov.au


AgriFutures Research, Extension & Development Update

Rice Extension and AgriFutures will be hosting annual RD&E reporting day on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd August 2019. The two day program will feature presentations from AgriFutures, Researchers and PhD Students in the rice industry. The two day forum will be held at NSW DPI field station at Yanco.
Ticket registrations are open please click here to register

Control in non-crop aquatic and bushland situation

NSW DPI has some key references to assist in identifying species and implementing control measures. These include;

  • NSW Invasive Species Plan 2018-2021

    The NSW Invasive Species Plan 2018–2021 identifies key deliverables to help prevent new incursions, eliminate or contain existing populations and effectively manage already widespread invasive species. Its scope includes weeds, and vertebrate and invertebrate pests in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments.

  • NSW Weed Control Handbook

  • The NSW Weed Control Handbook Is a detailed guide to weed control in non-crop, aquatic and bushland situations.
    Both the Riverina and Murray Local Land Services can provide assistance and advice on how to deal with invasive species. For more information contact your local office. 


AquaTill is a liquid jet-stream generated by 55,000 psi pressure that has the power to cut or penetrate stubbles and soil in circumstances where mechanical devices like discs and tynes fail such as in rice stubble. An AquaTill system consists of an ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) pump, UHP plumbing and cutting heads that can be deployed for a variety of purposes using custom “engagement tools”. 
The South Australian No Till Farmers Association (SANTFA) held a demonstration in rice stubble at RRAPL on 14 June. This was the first time the AquaTill was used in rice stubble and as usual it presented a challenge that no other stubbles present due to high silicone composition and volume of stubble.
With research and modifications on some of the variables such as nozzle size, ground speed and abrasive additives to the water it could be a viable tool for the industry.  Water use was estimated to be between 100L/ha and 300L/ha.
AquaTill is a potential solution to the issues around burning rice stubble, while allowing for residue management, soil health, timeliness, nutrition, weed control and rotation.
The industry is considering the next steps for this technology in rice stubble management.
For more information go to https://grdc.com.au/ and type in Aqua Till in the search bar for more information.

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WH&S Update

With the winter weather setting in now is the perfect time to be looking at your farm work, health and safety. It’s important that you look out for the safety of yourself and your workers.
Ag Safe NSW has the following funding / workshops available

  1. Quad Bike Safety rebates up to $2000.00

  2. Free Quad bike training course (they come to you) for eligible owners and workers

  3. Free advisory visits and one on one and free workshops

  4. Information about the $500.00 Small Business rebate (eligible to businesses with zero – 50 workers)

  5. Alive and Well Story on Quad Bike safet

GRDC Update


The GRDC Business Updates are perfect for the farmer, agronomist, researcher or consultant to hear about the latest innovation and adoptions for improved farm business management across the grains industry. The next GRDC update is being held in Moama, on 26 July, covering off on a large range of relevant irrigation topics such as:
- a behind the scenes look at the Murray Darling Basin Authority Weekly report
- the seasonal outlook and its impact on spring irrigation
- the value of water and the options if the temporary price rockets
- from pretty pictures to decision making – how to make use of your yield maps
- case studies of how IrriSAT is used for winter cropping
- irrigated pulses, and
- irrigation systems and layouts

Clink here to register.

MRL warnings in winter cropping

Barley Crops
The Australian grains industry is busy reminding growers this cereal season of the risks of chemical residue and delivery requirements. If you’re growing a Clearfield barley crops i.e. Spartacus or Scope please be vigilant and ask your agronomist for the risks associated with using Imidazolinone (Imazamox, Imazapic and Imazapyr). An industry update on market access for IMI tolerant barley varieties can be found here.

Canola Crops
Growers with canola are reminded that when using herbicides containing haloxyfop they should adhere to label application directions. More information about spraying practices in canola can be found here.

Tips for minimising unacceptable chemical residue

  • Always use chemical products according to label directions

  • Ask your agronomist about risks associated with more than 1 application of the same chemical

Calendar of Operations

Rice Grower Key Practices Diary - July
Farm Operations
Topdressing crops and pastures

  • Spray crops and pastures for weeds and pests

  • Ensure C20 rice paddocks are clean of weeds or do they need a fallow spray or livestock to eat them out?

  • If growing rice on rice ensure a good stubble burn to reduce the incidence of disease and self-sown rice followed by mechanical disturbance (particularly if changing varieties)



  • Check water control structures. How are the rice stops? Any that leak need replacing or need new rubbers?

  • With winter cereals and pasture in the topdressing window when was your spreader last calibrated?Maximise your yields, efficiency and quality by calibrating your spreader pattern.

  • Now that winter crop sowing is complete check over the sowing equipment for repairs and maintenance. If cash flow is tight make a list of repairs needed for when cash flow improves and the maintenance and repairs can be undertaken.


Check out the NSW DPI drought hub to see what help is available to you and your business in the 2019/20 financial year. https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/climate-and-emergencies/droughthub/drought-assistance

Annual cash flow budgets updated including a worst case, average and best case scenarios. If you need assistance contact your local Rural financial counsellor which is a free service.

Rural financial counsellors will support you to make the right decisions for your business.

They can help you:

  • identify your financial and business options

  • develop an action plan

  • negotiate with your lenders

  • apply for Farm Household Allowance.


 Airlie Hoskins

Mobile: 0429 396 729

Email: ahoskins@rfcsnsw-sr.com.au  


Haidee Laycock

Mobile: 0447 479 694

Email: hlaycock@rfcsnsw-sr.com.au


Tony Flett

Mobile: 0428815 766

Email: tflett@rfcsnsw-sr.com.au

  • Complete your taxation requirements with accountant

  • Keep your key advisors informed of your financial position, early discussions are best mode of action even if they are hard discussions to have.

  • Attend one of the 'Breaking New Ground' forums (please see upcoming events).