Rice Extension Newsletter January 2019

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Rice Extension Newsletter | January 2018

Welcome to a very hot 2019. The hot conditions have set the season up for a very high yield potential, but on the other hand evapotranspiration rates which correlate with water use, particularly in the south, have increased.

In team news, RGA has appointed Troy Mauger as the new Rice Extension Coordinator and with the change in roles the Murray Valley Rice Extension Officer role is vacant.

If you are interested in this exciting and dynamic role or know someone that is, click on the link below for further information. Applications close Friday, 8 February.


Articles this month:

  • What impact are the high temperatures having on water use?

  • Temperatures this season - The records are tumbling?

  • New chemicals for drill sown rice: Crop protection field walk summary

  • The next generation of Rice industry leaders have been selected

  • Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme

  • January - February Rice Grower Key Practices Diary

  • RGA tertiary scholarships closing soon

  • AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarships are now open 

  • Latest news from the AgriFutures™ Rice Program

  • Research Agronomist position available with NSW DPI

Upcoming events: 
18-21 January 2019, Deniliquin: Tier 1: Introduction to the Rice Industry leadership course.

1 February 2019, Deniliquin: Field walk at Nick Morona's rice crops commencing at 8.30am, 'Bilkurra', 933 Millear rd, Stud Park, NSW
7 March 2019, Jerilderie: Rice Industry Field day at RRAPL commencing at 2.00pm.
Further details to be provided in the next newsletter.

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It is obvious that the hot weather over the season will have an impact on water use. But by how much is the question? Many of you will have done the sums when updating your water budgets. Another tool for working water use out is by using Evapotranspiration (Eto) rates.

David Troldahl, NSW Department of Primary Industries, updates and publishes the Eto rates for the rice crops every 10 days.

A summary of the Eto rates for three regions, from 10 October to 20 January can be found in the table below.

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As you can see from Table 1, the impact of the heat this year compared to the five year averages is more significant in Finley and Tullakool regions.

What do we need to do about it?

It is important that you do a water budget to ensure you have enough water to finish the crop so as not to drain too early and compromise yield and whole grain yield (quality).
Predicted and past Eto are used to assist with water budgets to finish the crop.

NSW DPI have released Water Budget Calculator for Rice which can be found here
If you would like a copy of the Eto for your region contact David Troldahl on 0447 276 997 or david.troldahl@dpi.nsw.gov.au of Rice Extension on 0417 375 168 or tmauger@rga.org.au

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(Data and comments from Laurie Lewin)
Yes it has been hot with several records tumbling.  A summary of the records is:

For Deniliquin, 11th to 21st January:
Highest Accumulated Degree Day (205.9 vs 203.3 in 2014)
Highest average maximum (40.89 vs 39.73 in 2014)

For Deniliquin, 1st December to 15th January (Laurie’s arbitrary vegetative period)
Highest Accumulated DD (731.7 vs 696.5 in 1981 – 2016 was close)
Equal highest average minimum (in 1966)
Highest Average Maximum (34.83 vs 33.54 in 1981)

For Griffith, 11th to 21st January:
Highest accumulated DD (214.3 vs 199.2 in 2014)
Second highest average minimum (21.29 in 2007 vs 21.20)
Highest average maximum 41.66 vs 39.30 in 2014)

For Griffith, 1st December to 15th January (Laurie’s arbitrary vegetative period)
Highest accumulated DD (754.64 vs 715.55 in 1981)
Second highest average minimum (18.18 in 1981 vs 17.68)
Highest average maximum (35.13 vs 33.57 in 1999)

Figure  1: Deniliquin Airport (P.O. until 2003) Cumulative Degree Day (base 10)

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Figure 2: Griffith CSIRO Cumulative Degree Day (base 10)

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Above: Industry stakeholders inspecting the water seeded trial plots where weed competition was very healthy.

Trials of herbicide programs for drill sown rice with delayed permanent water showed new chemical, Agixa™, which is expected to be released next year, works well in combination with the Gramoxone®, Magister® and Stomp® mix.

This trial and others were presented at a day for agronomists run by weed researcher, Malcolm Taylor on 9 January.

Other trials include:

  • Herbicide combinations for water seeded (aerial or dry broadcast) rice that work in rotation with Taipan programs in order to avoid herbicide resistance. These trials include combinations with new and potential rice chemicals, Ubeniq™ and Sharpen®.

  • Herbicide combinations for paddocks with heavy dirty Dora and broadleaf pressure, including Saturn® applications prior to flooding.

  • Alternatives to the 3-way drill sown herbicide mix to prevent herbicide resistance.

Key learnings from the day included:

  • Arrowhead is resistant to Londax

  • Labels need to be adhered to, to prevent rice injury and ensure good efficacy

  • Use chemicals in combination for best weed control and reduction in weed escapes

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2019 Rice Industry Field Day Connecting rice growers with the future.

This year’s industry field day starts at a new time: 2.00pm on Thursday, 7 March.

Save the date for an afternoon of field walks and presentations from SunRice Marketing and Grower Services at Rice Research Australia, Old Coree, Jerilderie. Afternoon tea and dinner will be provided.

To assist with catering and buses, and to save the date in your calendar, registrations are now open here: https://2019rifd.eventbrite.com.au

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‘It is fantastic to see the interest shown in this program, we can be excited by the prospect that the next generation of Rice growers are interested and ready to take the next step into leadership’

The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) has selected participants for the tier one program ‘Introduction to the Rice Industry’. This program forms part of the RGA’s Rice Industry Leadership Program 2018-2020 which is supported by the Federal Government’s $5 million Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund, and by the five key organisations servicing the rice industry: The RGA, Rice Extension, AgriFuturesTM Australia, SunRice and The Rice Marketing Board for the State of NSW (RMB).

Interest was extremely high with 15 participants successful in gaining a place in the four day residential program commencing on Monday, 18 of February 2019 at the Deniliquin Big 4 tourist park.

The Introduction program has been developed in conjunction with the Rice Extension team who will deliver it with the support of professional external facilitators, including regionally based Jane Harris from LEA Diversity and Perin Davey from PD Strategy. 

The four day program will see the participants learn about the rice industry strategy, structure and water policy. Participants will also take part in interactive sessions on leadership styles and personality types using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator tool. The participants will also work on their presentation and team work skills, including a rice cook off challenge with guest judges.
This program will be offered again in 2020. More details about RGA’s current and future education programs can be found on the RGA website: http://www.rga.org.au/education/awards-and-scholarships.aspx

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Eligible Primary Producers (in drought declared areas of NSW) can claim a rebate of 25% of the cost of purchase, delivery and if applicable, the labour cost to engage a person to install water infrastructure for animal welfare needs.

The On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate scheme can be applied to costs incurred from 1 July 2018 for new purchases, and installation of pipes, water storages and water pumps, de-silting dams, and associated power supplies such as generators.

The maximum that can be claimed is $25,000 per farm enterprise. The availability of rebates is subject to funds being available. No rebates will be offered beyond the allocated funding of $12 million.

For further information go to:

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Farm Operations

  • Ensure water is at least 25cm during microspore which is 12-16 days after PI. It isn’t hot now, but cold snaps can occur suddenly. You need to assess your risk (of punting on the warm temperatures to continue through microspore and not having deep water) considering the investment you have made in your rice crop this season if water budgets are tight.

  • Keep an eye out for Armyworms; they seem to appear earlier each year. 

  • Monitor fallow paddocks for weeds. Controlling summer weeds delivers an average $5.57 for every dollar invested in weed control costs or controlling summer weeds results in an average 60 per cent increase in seasonal WUE (harvest-to-harvest rain).

  • Laser grading of paddocks and maintenance on irrigation channels that have no water in them with a grader.


  • Do the drains need spraying before draining to ensure a fast, even drainage of the paddock? 

  • Clean harvest equipment and trucks to ensure there is no contamination of your rice at harvest. 

  • Get the header checked over for any repairs needed post winter crop harvest as March is just around the corner.


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The Rice Growers’ Association is calling for all rice growers’ sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, who are in their second or successive year of studying an agricultural focused and/or industry related course at an Australian tertiary institution.

Applications are open for the Gre Graham Scholarship valued at $10,000 and the Peter Connor Book Award valued at $3,000.

This financial support helps alleviate financial pressures, can contribute to purchasing textbooks, and facilitate a greater focus on university study. It also enables students to move away from home and study at a time when this may not be possible, particularly during drought years and other times of hardship.

Since the awards were first introduced in 2001, 34 agriculture students have benefited from the generosity and foresight of SunRice, Rice Research Australia Pty Ltd and rice industry supporters. In response, the majority of these students have returned to our communities and farms with leading edge knowledge to help strengthen and rejuvenate our rice and agricultural industry. 

Applications close 31 January 2019. 

For eligibility criteria and to apply go to http://www.rga.org.au/education/awards-and-scholarships.aspx

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Applications for the AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship are now open. Students studying an agriculture-related degree, in their last two years of study, are eligible to apply.

The AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship, in partnership with industry sponsors, provides a $5,000 bursary and professional development opportunities for eligible university students.

The AgriFutures™ Horizon Scholarship also offers students annual industry work placements, access to industry leaders, professional development assistance and opportunities to network and gain knowledge at a range of industry events.
In 2019 there are some small but important changes to the program:

  • The Scholarship will now be awarded for the last two years of the successful student’s degree; this change is aimed to increase networking opportunities and pathways into careers in agriculture

  • Eligible agriculture related degrees now include Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) degrees with major studies and subject selections relevant and aligned to agriculture

  • Students studying traditional agriculture degrees such as rural science, animal science and agribusiness are also eligible

  • Students studying in faculties that support the prosperity of rural industries, such as logistics, communications and IT, who are passionate about a career in agriculture, are also eligible. 

AgriFutures Australia recognises there is a broad range of skills which contribute to all areas of rural industries, and are looking to attract those skilled individuals into careers in agriculture. Fostering collaboration across multiple disciplines contributes to a growing Horizon Scholar Alumni entering the workforce.

For further information go to

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The second edition of the AgriFutures™ Rice Program Industry Update has been distributed, reporting on research activities from October to December 2018.

To receive future updates on research program activities, sign up to the AgriFutures™ Rice Program newsletter.

AgriFutures™ Rice Program Update https://www.agrifutures.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/AgriFutures-Rice-Program_Industry-Update_Jan-2019.pdf

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A new role as a Research Agronomist, Irrigation based at Yanco is currently calling for applicants. You will conduct critical R&D in water productivity across agricultural industries (particularly related to broadacre irrigated cotton, rice and grains) in southern NSW.  

The primary focus of this role will be to design, plan and implement research projects that will enhance the productivity and profitability of irrigated agriculture in the southern Murray Darling Basin.
For full details follow the link below.