Posts tagged Biological
Rice Straw Utilisation - Value adding and alternative uses for the Australian Rice Industry (2015)

The Australian Rice industry produces some of the highest crop yields in the world. As a result, the by-product of this is a significant stubble load, which is difficult to manage.  Additionally, the silica content of Australian rice straw is significantly higher than most around the world. The current practices of burning stubble to allow a double cropping rotation are not likely to continue too much further into the foreseeable future due to environmental constraints and changes in policy. Few alternatives of stubble management are practised within the Australian Rice Growing industry, therefore, a ban on stubble burning could severely jeopardise the viability of the industry. Throughout the world, rice growers are addressing the problem of stubble load with methods that eliminate the stubble load problem as well as value add and create additional revenue streams from a ‘waste’ product. These methods include:  Biomass plants, Biogas plants, Strawlage as a stockfeed source, Erosion control, Composting, Mulching for high value crops such as mushrooms, Building products and High value raw materials.

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Rice stubble, fertiliser and water management options to reduce N2O emissions and build soil carbon (March 2014)


This Poster presented at the 2014 Rice field day at RRAPL it presents a brief details on The Action on the Ground Project that is aiming to determine greenhouse gas emissions under current farming practices. It is also trial water management practices to reduce NO2 and CH4 emissions and sequester soil carbon in rice soils. The project will also look at possible cycles through retaining and removing rice stubbles. Removed stubbles can either be burnt or taken from the field as rice straw. The options of turning the removed rice straw into compost ( with the addition of animal manure) or biochar ( through a pyrolysis process) and then returning these end products back to the soil will be considered.

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Primefact: Armyworms in rice (August 2013)

This NSW DPI fact sheet gives information in regard to Armyworm in rice. Seasons 2011/12 and 2012/13 saw significant impact of armyworm on rice with estimates of 60% of crops in Murray Valley requiring spraying treatment. This fact sheet covers in information on the biology and management of armyworm in rice.  It also gives guidelines for crop monitoring and contact details for further information.


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Reconcilling farming with wildlife: managing biodiveristy in the Riverina rice fields (April 2010)

This RIRDC report presents the findings of a project undertaken in Reconciling Farming with Wildlife: Managing Biodiversity in the Riverina Rice Fields. The project was investigating biodiversity issues in the rice-growing industry. There were three key projects within the project these include 1: the initiation of a monitoring program for on-farm vertebrates associated with revegetation efforts; 2: the role of frogs in controlling rice pests; and 3: how a focal species of conservation concern, the carpet python, utilizes a agricultural landscapes. The report targets the rice industry in the Riverina including all stakeholders. It also targets NSW Parks and wildlife, on ground land management organisations, the scientific community and the general community. Australia’s worst drought on record had a significant impact on the project, through retraction of funding, and through the environmental impact on revegetation efforts on farm. However outcomes were achieved, and this report presents the findings from (1) baseline monitoring of vertebrates on rice farms; (2) a study of frogs as natural pest control for rice crops; and (3) a study of how an iconic snake species utilises farms. The project concludes by integrating knowledge gained in these studies with that of other studies to formulate management strategies for rice farmers and other stakeholders in the region. 

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Assessment of Pesticide Impacts on the Biological Health of the Rice Ecosystem- Link (April 2007)

This RIRDC report presents results on the Assessment of pesticide impacts on the biological health of the rice ecosystem. The aim of the project was to provide a better understanding of the impact of pesticides on the soil microbiological health in rice systems and on the aquatic ecosystems receiving drainage water from rice bays during the spray-season. Three main objective included the establishment the effects of rice pesticides on soil microbiological health and on the aquatic ecosystems associated with the rice production system. The second was to assess the recovery of ecosystem during the post spraying period and thirdly to contribute towards better management of pesticides used in rice production. The method was split into two areas, investigating the impact on aquatic organism which was undertaken by monitoring study, laboratory bioassays, excotoxicological tests in experimental bays and laboratory experiments. Part two was impacts of pesticides on soil micro- organisms. Field experiments were undertaken in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) and laboratory experiments, to underpin the field observations. Experimental rice bays were established under field conditions near Griffith, following a statistical design. The conclusion of the project was that some toxicity on organisms due to pesticide residues was observed during the spraying season and recovery was noted with time. While laboratory test showed some potential toxicity of pesticides to soil biological processes, no measurable effect of soil biological health could be established under field conditions.

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Using Near Infrared Technologies to Enhance Precision Management of Rice Crops- Link (January 2007)

This RIRDC report presents the results of an evaluation of sensors which could increase the precision of variable crop fertilization. The aims of this project were to provide: an evaluation of the potential of available airborne scanning NIR sensors to determine variations in dry matter and shoot composition (eg Nitrogen and starch) across rice crops. The project also aimed to provide an understanding of the limitations of fresh tissue analysis by airborne NIR sensors calibrations for nutrients in fresh rice tissue for use in interpreting data obtained from airborne NIR sensors a basis on which to keep the Tissue Testing Service in line with the latest technology. The method used for the project included reflectance spectra from a range of rice genotypes, crop ages and densities and from common weed species were collected during the growing season using above crop scanners (hand held, airborne and satellite borne). The spectra were then used to develop calibrations for actual shoot biomass, nitrogen (N) and nitrogen uptake (N_uptake) in fresh shoots. The spectra were also used to generate a library of signals for actual shoot biomass, nitrogen and other constituents and to identify weeds and unhealthy areas in crops. An NIR specialists enabled them to effectively handle the bit-map data generated by red green blue (RGB) and infra-red camera sensors to establish if existing camera data can also be of use for crop nutrient and density prediction. The key findings were a preliminary calibrations on remotely sensed spectra of rice crops, with correlations of approximately 0.85, were established for % N and N_uptake.

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Ecology and biology of nuisance algae in rice fields - Link (February 2006)

This RIRCD report presents information on green and brown slime for the rice industry and its stakeholders. The report presents information on the study investigating the causes and management of slimes affecting rice production in the irrigation area of Southern NSW. A description of the components and causes of slime and recommendations for control are included. The aim of the project was to identify and control green slime, determine the nature of brown slime and why it is problematic, determine the conditions that increase brown slime and suggest strategies that famers can use to reduce the slime problems. These aims were undertaken by using field observation by both farmers and researchers and experimental evidence obtained in the laboratory. The report concludes there is a greater chance of rice sown into flooded bays containing urea to have greater chance of brown slime to grow faster that rice. In this case there is greater chance of brown slime formation which interferes with rice establishment and in some case decrease in yield.

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CSU students attend the 12th Australian Weeds Conference - RIRDC Project TA990-03 (2001)

The 12th Australian Weeds Conference was held in Hobart 12-16 September 1999. Amongst the delegates, many from CSU were four students whose trip was funded by RIRDC. The students were Giles Flower, Ragini Ravindran, Elisa Heylin and Farzad Jahromi. A view of the broader scope of weed research can give perspective to one’s own research in a relatively restricted area.

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Increasing yield potential of the NSW rice industry - RIRDC Project DAN-160A (2001)

The rice physiology team at Yanco Agricultural Institute has provided relevant research to the rice breeding team over the past 10 years. In the 1999-2000 season, we confirmed that two introduced varieties, HSC55 from Hungary and Plovdiv 22 from Russia, have the right characteristics to increase the yield potential of the NSW rice industry. However, much breeding work is required to combine the increases in yield potential with acceptable grain quality attributes.  Research from the 1999-2000 year has shown the value of harvest index as a rapid determination of biomass.  Two introduced rice varieties have the right characteristics to lift yield potential of rice in SW, however these lines require further development to obtain varieties with acceptable grain quality.  Research from the 1999-2000 year has shown that harvest index in conjunction with grain yield can be used as a rapid measure final biomass.

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The current status of control of water plantain - RIRDC Project TA 990-09 (2001)

Common water plantain (Alisma plantagoaquatica) is an aquatic perennial weed in rice (Oryza sativa) grown in New South Wales (NSW) and California in the United States (U.S.), and in cultivated wild rice (Zizania aquatica) grown in Minnesota. Cultivated wild rice and rice are dissimilar plants that are grown on opposite ends of the world; however, these plants do have some similarities. Both are grown in aquatic conditions, have similar nutritional requirements, utilise many of the same agronomic practices and machinery, and have common weed and disease problems. Currently, rice in Australia is relatively disease-free.

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A fruitful collaboration: big steps forward in evaluating cokking quality (2001)

A visit by Professor Bill Park was the beginning of an exciting collaboration between the Biotechnology Group at Texas A&M University and the Cereal Chemistry team at Yanco.  During Professor Park's visit, he imparted technology that determines the amylose genes of the entire Australian pedigree of rice cultivars and with the Cereal Chemistry team, a new way to measure the texture of cooked rice, and cooked and cooled rice was developed.

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Biological control of starfruit using a mycoherbicide (2000)

This  IREC Farmer Newsletter present preliminary finding for the RIRDC project UCS 7A that is investigating biological control of starfruit using a mycoherbicide. The stastical data had not been completed however the article concluded that research into a mycoherbicide for starfuit continues to show promise. The result could be a weed control strategy which uses both conventional herbicide and mycoherbicide. 

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Matching your rice variety with N management (2000)


This IREC Farmer Newsletter article presents an update on the RIRDC project DAN160A that is investigation matching your rice variety with N management. The article concludes that all short straw rice should be treated similarly in regards to nitrogen application. It also stated that it was possible to increase preflood N rates in Langi by half a bag per acre to obtain the same N uptake at PI as Amaroo and Namaga. 

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Progress with biocontrol of Alisma (2000)


This IREC Farmers Newsletter presents information and progress on the RIRDC project DAN 121A investigating biocontrol of Alisma and starfruit. The speed at which the biocontrol fungus causes disease can be manipulated by how the conidia are grown. Robust spore called chlamydospores, offer another form of inoculum for this fungus. The project is producing an infective inoculum of fungus Rhynchosporium alismatis for control.

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