Posts in IREC Farmer Newsletters
Managing rice snails with copper sulphate - RIRDC Project PRJ - 005685 (2013)


Snails in rice crops are becoming a more significant problem for growers because of increased levels of repeat cropping aimed at maximising water use efficiency. Repeat cropping allows dormant snails to survive in the soil. Research on copper sulphate aimed at gaining product registration and ensuring its ongoing availability for snail control has shown that its variable performance relates strongly to soil type. Higher application rates are needed to the water above soils rich in dissolved organic carbon.  Even above soils low in dissolved organic carbon, biologically active copper concentrations fall dramatically within an hour of application.  Although soil testing could allow copper application rates to be ‘fine-tuned’ for individual fields, finding alternative chemicals unaffected by soil type should be a higher priority.

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Rice responds to zinc in landformed fields (2012)

When topsoil is removed during landforming, often the subsoil is exposed and remains at the soil surface. The subsoil is frequently deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus, and sometimes zinc. Zinc is important for rice nutrition. Zinc deficiency causes
flooded rice seedlings to starve for oxygen, impacting on rice seedling vigour and survival. When sowing into cut areas with exposed subsoil, apply zinc
as a seed coat or apply zinc in a fertiliser blend when drill sowing rice. In a fertiliser blend, aim to apply zinc at a rate of 5 kg Zn/ha. The zinc fertiliser needs to be placed close to the seed. High levels of soil phosphorus or high phosphorus fertiliser applications to soils with low levels of zinc are commonly responsible for zinc deficiencies in rice, as are sites where soils have elevated bicarbonate levels.

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Generating awareness of advances, Yenda Cluster group of the Environmental Champions program (2009)

This IREC Farmers Newsletter article is on the Environmental champions  program (EPC) that was started in 2001. This is an article specific to Yenda Cluster group of the EPC. The ECP was designed to bring farmers and their neighbour together to have informed and strategic guidelines to tackle ideas and challenges of natural resource management issues. The program provided support and assistance to farm businesses and recognition for achievements. As a result of this it provided the industry with important examples and facts about environmental performance which can be communicated to the broader community, and important to our decision makers and green groups. It also gave an opportunity to demonstrated to the community, decision makers and green groups that irrigators are proactive and responsible managers of the natural resources on their land. 

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Ideas swapping and real life examples, The Caldwell Cluster Group of the Environmental Champions Program. (2009)

This IREC Farmers Newsletter article is a brief overview of the on the Environmental Champions Program that commenced in 2001. This particle article is specifically focused on the Caldwell Cluster group of the ECP. The ECP was designed to bring farmers and their neighbour together to have informed and strategic guidelines to tackle ideas and challenges of natural resource management issues. The program provided support and assistance to farm businesses and recognition for achievements. As a result of this it provided the industry with important examples and facts about environmental performance which can be communicated to the broader community, and important to our decision makers and green groups. It also gave an opportunity to demonstrated to the community, decision makers and green groups that irrigators are proactive and responsible managers of the natural resources on their land. 

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Less water with late water- results from delayed permanent water experiment. (2009)

This IREC Farmer Newsletter article presents an overview of the 1st year trial of the use of delayed permanent water in rice production in Southern NSW. It was acknowledged that delaying of permanent water resulted in reduced water use however whether water productivity ($/ML) is increased will depend on grain yield and would not be determined until post harvest. It is suggested that research into nitrogen management greenhouse gas emissions of the delayed flood practice is necessary. The article describes the experiment with overviews of measuring the benefits, the irrigation treatments, nitrogen managements, weed controls, irrigation use and crop growth. The final recommendation included the necessity to research into nitrogen management and greenhouse gas emissions using the delayed flood practice.

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Rice improvement in tough times. (2008)


This IREC Farmers newsletter article reports on the 2006/2007 growing seasons and research undertaken by Rice breeders at NSW DPI Yanco. 2006-07 rice growing season saw water restrictions reduce the advance breeding lines. As a result the focus was re directed to early generation screening using DNA markers. A direct result of the drought is the water restrictions, reduced funding, no replacement of capital items and reduced labour and operational funding. This will restrict the possibility of a release of a new variety in next two years as the inability to undertake the only farm testing and evaluation phase.  Although 14 on farm trials were sown however due to water restrictions only 5 were harvested.  As a result of water reductions and drought the 2006-07 growing season re focused on field based cold tolerance and straighthead. It was also a season to focused screening early generations using DNA markers. The year also proved valuable time to develop linkages and new projects for future varieties China study tours were undertaken and future ACIAR projects were developed during this season. 

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Irrigators demonstrate environmental credentials (2008)

This IREC Farmer Newsletter reports is a group of articles on the Environmental champions  program that was started in 2001. The ECP was designed to bring farmers and their neighbour together to have informed and strategic guidelines to tackle ideas and challenges of natural resource management issues. The program provided support and assistance to farm businesses and recognition for achievements. As a result of this it provided the industry with important examples and facts about environmental performance which can be communicated to the broader community, and important to our decision makers and green groups. It also gave an opportunity to demonstrated to the community, decision makers and green groups that irrigators are proactive and responsible managers of the natural resources on their land.

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Improving topdressing recomendations for rice (2008)

This IREC Farmer Newsletter article presents the result of the analysis of data collected over 16 years from 86 experiments. The project was undertaken as a it was acknowledge that nitrogen at PI recommendations had last been up date in 1996. With increase in crop yields it was due a review. The aim of the project was to determine new recommendations for nitrogen application at PI as last review was updated in 1996. The project revised these recommendation using historical data from 86 experiments. The new recommendations are presented in the article with farmers should aim for a plant nitrogen uptake of between 100 and 140 kg N/ha at panicle initiation (PI) to achieve top yields and the most efficient use of nitrogen fertilizer. It is also acknowledged that inaccurate sampling can incur inappropriate recommendations. So it is important to sample areas that are representative to the whole field.

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Good stock will make better cold tolerant rice. (2008)

This IREC Farmers Newsletter reports on the cold tolerance work undertaken in 2008.  Cold Tolerance continues to be a key focus for R&D in the Australian rice industry. 2007/07 growing season was had regular cold events and there was significant cold damage during young microspore. The season saw over 20 F2 populations crossed and screened with the inclusions of Chinese donors. The Australian rice industry is in a good position to capitalize from future cold tolerance varieties as a result of the collaborative efforts from Sydney University, Queensland University and NSW DPI facilitated by RIRDC. This collaboration has seen the development of the broad spectrum cold tolerance will be incorporated into future Australian bred rice varieties through the utilisation of targeted selection nurseries. This is complimented by suitable international aerobic lineswhich have been identified for future breeding efforts with the possibility of characteristics being incorporated with cold tolerance. 

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Stink bug numbers much higher in 2007 (2008)

This IREC Farmers Newsletter article reports Stink bug numbers in 2007 rice crops were approximately six times higher than in the previous season.  The surveys undertaken showed that 84% of stink bugs collected during the 2-year survey were a species known as Anaxilaus vesiculosus, which was not previously known to feed on rice . Anaxilaus was reared from egg to adulthood on rice plants with no other food source. Grain from the plants used to rear the bugs showed high levels of feeding damage, confirming the relationship between Anaxilaus and ‘pecky’ rice . The report covers the survey results, grain damage by stink bugs, option controls and seasonal differences and climate changes.

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Cold tolerant rice varieties, a matter of need for Australia (2008)

This IREC Farmers Newsletter presents information and an update on RIRDC funded project DAN243 investigating cold tolerant varieties. International studies present at 4th International rice conference indicated that Australian rice growing regions were having increased incidents of cold tolerance damaged compared to that of California. This is an indication of how important the dedicated crossing program in Australian breeding program is. With the addition of the new glass house built at Yanco there was a dramatic increase in ability to cross for purposes of cold tolerance. 2006/0 saw the development of a critical mass (675) crosses were made for use to screen during microspore in the Australian breeding program. The direction of the cold tolerance development has been bolstered by the International germplasm exchange to China through the federally funded ACIA project and with Australian delegates visiting China in 2006/07. 

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From rice to revegetation: wildlife conservation on rice farms (2008)

This IREC newsletter article presents a brief on the project proposal that will be undertaken at Jerillderie and Gogeldrie using revegetation experiments to promote biodiversity on rice farms and monitor changes in species richness to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. With the outcomes expected to help rice growers develop more biologically diverse and productive farms. Patches of remnant vegetation provide important habitat for much of the existing wildlife on rice farms. Planting trees, shrubs and other native plants in cleared areas increases species richness in agricultural landscapes. 

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New water productivity targets for each rice growing valley. (2008)

This IREC Farmers newsletter is presenting the new water productivity targets for each rice growing valley. Using the rice check information from 1999-2007 it was established that the valleys had differenct water productivities. Therefore the new water productivity targets for 2008 were established for individual valleys based on yield, irrigation water use and rainfall records from Ricecheck since 1999. The articles outlines these targets and informs the reader to contact DPI for further information.  

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The human genome shapes rice breeding. (2008)

This IREC Farmer Newsletter  presents information on the RIRDC funded project USC6A. The Sequenom®MassARRAY®, are a result of human genome developments and enabled efficient analysis of human genomes. These machines are now being used to gather information about rice. To date information of all five important rice genes are able to be obtain in a single test using the Sequenom® MassARRAY®. This is a vast improvement on eight different individual test that was required prior to the development of the Sequenom® MassARRAY®. This reduces cost and time to obtain the information to determine if the breeding line carries the desirable trait. 

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Improving techniques for assessing rice grain quality. (2008)

This IREC Farmers Newsletter report gives and overview of the 2006/07 season project of improving techniques for assessing rice grain quality. The project continued to evaluate the quality parameters of rice breeding lines and to improve screening techniques for more accuracy and efficiency under the Rice Grain Quality Project. A greater emphasis is being placed on the use of molecular markers to assist selection. The project has also focused on understanding the genetic characteristics that are linked to the cooking quality of different types of rice. This article focuses on grain quality, measurements of amylose types, validation and implementation of new methods, effect of starch components on cooking starch branching enzymes in Australian rice.

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2008 Yanco Agricultural Institute celebrates 100 years (2008)

In 2008, Yanco Agricultural Institute is celebrating 100 years of service to the rural community of the MIA. The NSW Department of Primary Industries, formerly the Department of Agriculture, has provided important agricultural research, education, extension and regulatory functions at the centre since its establishment in 1908. Yanco Experiment Farm was established in 1908 to provide research and assistance to settlers during the development of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.  Significant research has been conducted over the last 100 years on irrigated crops, horticulture and livestock that has contributed to the development of the diverse primary industries of the MIA. Much of this work is recorded in the IREC Farmers’ Newsletter and the NSW Department of Agriculture Agricultural Gazette.  The Institute has also played a major role in agricultural education including the training of farmers during the early years and after World War II, of delinquent boys during the 1930s, and through the Agricultural College which has operated there for over 40 years.  Thousands of people have worked, studied and lived at Yanco Institute over the decades. A reunion is being planned in October for anyone who has “drunk the channel water” and wishes to return.

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Understanding & managing in-field variability of rice growth & yield (2008)

This IREC Farmers Newsletter present a brief on the RIRDC project investigation understanding and managing in feidl variability of frice growth and yield. The project began in 2006/2007. The project aims were to identify factors that are causal to within field yield variability by undertaking in field experiments, to build a methods to lessen the effect of these factors whilst maintain NIR rice tissue testing capability. Results of 2006-2007 were reduced due to reduction in water allocations as a result of the drought. It was however concluded that preliminary results illustrate possible relationships between EM and cut and fill with grain yield. It is acknowledge due to the season that a comprehensive analysis of relationships between soil property and nutrient results and crop growth and yield will be carried out. The author states the project will continue to undertake further experiments to determine if the identified causes of variability are common among fields and if low yielding areas can be increased to levels at least similar to that of the current field average.

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Improving rice yields and water use efficiency. (2008)

This IREC farmer newsletter presents an overview of the three year project undertaken by the Extension Team at NSW DPI Yanco. The aim of the 3-year extension project was to improve rice yields and water use efficiency by 5%. As a result of very cold temperatures at the pollen microspore stage in 2004–05 and drought effects in 2006–07, the average rice yield for the project period remained the same as the previous 5-year project period and water use efficiency (WUE) was 8% lower. The article covered areas such as extension and what has been achieved over the past three years. Average yields, water use efficiency, assisting environmental champions, lifting adoptation of poorest adopted checks are also included.  It is divided into sections as to how these were achieved such as Rice check, Rice check records, publications, discussion groups, Rice for profit course, meetings, field days, district agronomist survey and future projects. 

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