Posts tagged Crop Establishment
Maximising establishment in drill sown rice - Setup and maintenance of drill sowing planting equipment

Uniform establishment is the key to a successful rice crop. Growers should ensure their sowing machine (or their contractors’ machine) is well serviced and operational before sowing time. 

If you haven’t got your machine out yet, the checklists below may assist in ensuring your seeding machine operates optimally this season. 

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Seed depth placement drill sown rice

Seed depth placement is critical to drill sown rice

According to growers who drill sow, the dry spring has resulted in hardening of well-prepared seed beds. This has prevented drill seeders, and particularly single disc machines, from working effectively. As a consequence, growers have had to work the ground prior to sowing or have pre- watered to enable sowing to take place. 

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Late season options 2017-18

Late season options

A lot has changed since the Rice Extension pre-season meetings where we discussed planning. Lack of rain and small allocation increases have been the biggest changes and a combination that most growers would not have planned for.

This has resulted in many growers irrigating winter crops with their allocation and carryover water, leaving less water available for rice. The other change is the temporary water price. 

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Rice plant population requirements
  • No difference was observed in grain yield for plant populations from 50 to 300 plants/m2. This was the case for both aerial and drill sown rice and all of the varieties tested.
  • At low plant populations (less than 50 plants/m2), high grain yields can still be achieved but uniformity in the distribution of the plants becomes increasingly important.
  • Grain yield from the 18 and 27 cm row spacing treatments was similar but yield declined at the 36 cm row spacing.
  • Yield decline has not been observed at very high plant populations (greater than 400 plants/m2) but more research is needed to confirm these results.
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Rotating sowing methods
  • Drill sowing saves 2 ML/ha and delayed permanent water 4 ML/ha of water compared to aerial sowing.
  • These systems allow you to sow on time then apply water and nitrogen once water availability is assured.
  • Less problems with ducks, wind or muddy water and often spraying of broadleaf weeds is not required, especially if delayed permanent water (DPW) is practiced.
  • When the water saved is used to grow more rice the estimated gross margin of drill sowing is 30% and delayed permanent water is 59% greater than aerial sowing. 
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