Posts in Temperature
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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Streamlining the development of new cold tolerance rice varieties - RIRDC Project USC-6A (2007)

As rice growers know all to well, cold temperatures damage the developing pollen, causing grain sterility and lower crop yields. Yield reductions of more than 1 t/ha, due to low temperatures, occur about one year in four (on average) and cost the Australian rice industry around $50–60 million, depending on the year. Improvements in cold tolerance of rice will have significant economic benefits to the industry, as rice production could be increased and the capacity for a more stable supply of rice would secure current and future markets.  Cold temperatures during the rice growing season can result in significant yield loss and significant income loss to the industry.  The deep water required on the rice field throughout the cold sensitive early microspore stage of pollen development, would not be necessary with cold tolerant rice.  The use of molecular markers to identify the genetics behind cold tolerance are being investigated.  The current methods used to investigate cold tolerance rely on selecting the appropriate time to expose crops to cold, which can be difficult.

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Can irrigation be sustainable - Link (2006)

This journal article discusses the issues associated with salinisation in irrigation areas.  This paper applies a whole of system-water balance to compare irrigation in three semi-arid regions suffering from similar sustainability issues: Rechna Doab (RD), Pakistan; the Liuyuankou irrigation system (LIS), China; and Murrumbidgee irrigation area (MIA), Australia. The major issues seen in these areas are soil salinity, water resources and ground water management. Data used to compare these different regions were climate and soils, available water and components of water balance. The project also examined the history of water resource development in each region. The paper concludes with these systems are dependent on direct or indirect use of groundwater. It compares the results from each region and the possible acceleration rate of salininsation. The paper expresses the need to quantify regional-water quality trends, downstream environmental impacts and the trade-off between yield reduction and direct regional groundwater use by crops in these systems. It also believes a need to radically rethink sustainability of food production, rational pricing and sharing of water and commodities. Thus justifying investment that will maintain and enhance ecosystem function within irrigated catchments. As the paper states that under present operational conditions, none of the three systems discussed in this paper is sustainable. 

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