Posts tagged Fertilizer
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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Approaches to Managing Variability of Rice Growth and Yield- Link (March 2013)

This RIRDC report is aimed at rice growers, commercial and public advisory agronomists, rice researchers, irrigation surveyors and designers, and landforming operators in rice growing areas. The report outlines investigations into the causes of in-field variability of rice crop growth, yield and management options for improving the poor yielding areas. The project consisted of three main objectives including firstly identify and understand factors contributing to in-field spatial variability in rice yield. Secondly identify and evaluate methods by which rice growers can manage in-field spatial variability in yield to increase production, profitability and water productivity and thirdly to maintain the NIR calibrations and instruments for the rice NIR Tissue Testing Service and update the associated PI nitrogen topdressing recommendations. The project was undertaken using replicated field experiments which were located in multiple rice growers’ fields in areas of both natural soil (no cut or fill) and subsoil surfaces which had been exposed by laser levelling operations. Soil treatments consisted of both chemical fertiliser (with varying major and minor nutrients) and organic fertilisers (chicken litter and feedlot manure). Rice establishment, growth and yield were monitored and measured. Generally three sets of field experiments were implemented each season. In conjunction with this experiment each year of the project there were complementary extensive large pot experiments undertaken in a polyhouse at Yanco Agricultural Institute The research identified that most of the in-field variability in rice growth and yield variability could be attributed to poor growth and low yield being obtained on exposed sub-soil surfaces due to macro and micro nutrient deficiencies and interactions. Significant increase in rice crop growth and yield were obtained by applications of high rates of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers to exposed subsoils. Rice crop growth and yield responses were also were found on red brown earth soils with the application of zinc, either in the fertiliser mix sown with the seed or as a seed coat. The researchers believe that targeted applications (based on soil tests) of phosphorus and zinc, along with good pre-permanent water and PI nitrogen management will increase yields in exposed subsoil areas of rice fields. This will decrease in-field rice yield variability resulting in increased rice production and water productivity across the industry and provide flow-on economic benefits to regional communities.

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Unraveling the impact of Nitrogen Nutrition on cooked rice flavor and texture- Link (May 2009)

Understanding the influences of amylose and protein contents on rice sensory properties is key to maintaining quality and providing consumers with rice with desired flavour and textural attributes. This research focused on delineating the effects of nitrogen nutrition on cooked rice texture and flavour. The sensory properties of cultivars grown in adjoining fields with differing rates of nitrogen fertilizer (to yield grains with a large spread in protein contents) were measured by a panel trained in descriptive analysis.  Second. rice sensory properties were modelled using apparent amylose and protein data. Fertilizer level affected protein and apparent amylose contents and, in turn, cooked rice texture. Protein contents were significantly higher (P < 0.0007) and apparent amylose contents were significantly lower (P < 0.0001) at the higher fertilizer level. Models revealed a negative correlation of protein content with initial starchy coating, slickness, and stickiness between grains—three attributes that are perceived when cooked rice is first introduced into the mouth. Models for roughness, hardness, and moisture absorption—attributes representing three phases of evaluation in the mouth—showed a positive correlation with protein content. The models provide insight into the magnitude of change in protein content that is likely required to observe textural changes in cooked rice.

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Timing of nitrogen applications for rice (2008)

This IREC farmers newsletter article presents a summary of five years of experiments investigating a suite of timings for nitrogen fertiliser application. Results indicate no significant differences in nitrogen responses among Australian rice varieties and optimum nitrogen requirement lies around 170–180 kg N/ha depending on the inherent soil nitrogen supply . Five years worth of results show that the best yields are obtained when nitrogen application is split between pre-flood and panicle initiation applications. A minimum pre-flood application of 90 kg N/ha in continuously cultivated bays is recommended to ensure adequate nitrogen supply during the vegetative growth stage of the crop to produce sufficient biomass to sustain a good yield. A maintenance requirement of nitrogen at panicle initiation is recommended to ensure adequate nitrogen supply to the plant during the reproductive stages. Mid-tillering nitrogen applications are warranted if an inadequate amount of pre-flood nitrogen was applied, early nitrogen application was not managed correctly, or the soil is inherently low in fertility

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Permanent beds in bays for sustainable cropping (2007)

This IREC Farmers Newsletter reports on the continuation of the permanent beds for sustainable cropping which has been running since 2000. The reports for 2005, 2006, and 2007 are included in this library.  The report covers 05/06 results, weed control, rice growth and yields, irrigation and fertilisers. This report concluded that high yields of wheat were achieved in 2005. This was seen on both raised beds and flat layouts – in a year without rainfall- induced water logging in winter or spring. It was also seen that the rice yields on both raised beds and flat treatments were excellent during an exceptional rice growing season. It was acknowledged that the rice yield from the bed systems is as high as that from conventional flat systems where rice is grown using permanent flooded conditions and deep water is applied during the early microspore stage.

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Minerals for sustainable grain yield and grain quality (2005)

This CRC project was investigating Minerals for sustainable grain yield and grain quality. The two main objectives of the project were to develop a plant nutrient symptoms diagnosis protocol and develop a nutrient-based model of sustainable rice production. The project aimed to provide data which could be included in a model for a sustainable rice industry and review the role and importance of micro and macro-elements. The strategies adopted during this study included fertilizer inputs, management options, new genotypes, and linkages with foreign scientists. The method used to undertake the project included, field trials, laboratory trial and quality analysis. Literature reviews and evaluating grains from trials around the world. The project confirms the need for a reliable key to the possible nutrient deficiency symptoms which may occur in Australian rice varieties. 

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A strategic soil nitrogen test for flooded rice (2005)

This CRC report presents the results of the project undertaken to investigate s strategic soil nitrogen tests for flooded rice. The trial was undertaken between 1998 through until 2002. The projects aim was to develop a system to forecast the optimum N supply for pre-flood application and minimize the amount being topdressed which has been a safe, but inefficient system. The method undertaken included using wet chemistry to assist in developing a test by comparing the near infrared reflectance specatra with crop productivity and N Mineraliseation. Whilst 22 previous experiments measuring yield response to N applied at sowing were also used. The study undertook seventeen methods of mineralisation and the most reliable was found to be anaerobic incubation at 40°C for 21 days. This method predicted the optimum N requirement with a standard error of about 75 kgN/ha, which is clearly unsatisfactory for an industry where the average amount of N fertiliser applied is 145 kgN/ha. There was some evidence that sowing date and deficiencies of other nutrients were partly responsible for the variability of the N response. The project concluded that there were close relationships of the NIR spectra with crop productivity and N mineralisation but because of the small data set the relationships had little predictive value. However the close relationships found between NIRS, N mineralisation measured in the laboratory and crop performance produced encouragement for further studies. The study also concluded that there were two options proposed for more reliable application of N fertiliser at the time of sowing. The first to use the existing soil test only to identify soils with large amounts of potentially mineralisable N. Such a test could be the basis of a recommendation to apply little or no N fertiliser before sowing. Rice growers would still have the option of topdressing N fertiliser at the panicle initiation stage. The results in this project suggest that yield responses are more accurately predicted by sodicity than by the soil N test. The recommendation were to undertake further studies in this area.

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Investigating the links between minerals in rice grain and Straighthead - Rice CRC Project 2303 (September 2005)

Straighthead or “Parrot Beaking” is a “physiological” disorder causing distortion and a high proportion of missing grains on the rice panicle. Crop losses range from 10 to 30% in medium grains and as high as 90% in short and long grains.  Straighthead has been recorded in NSW rice crops since 1960s. It occurs in both the Murrumbidgee and Murray Valleys and the Coleambally Irrigation Area. Straighthead also occurs in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas in the USA and in other countries who use other words to describe it.  There is no known cause of Straighthead although it can be induced in the glass house by addition of arsenic based compounds and straw or sugar to the soil. In Arkansas Straighthead is associated with the use of arsenic based herbicides used in cotton during rotation. Straighthead is thought to be a relatively minor problem in the NSW rice area as a whole but can be devastating to individual growers who have the problem. However, its true extent is unknown because it is often confused with cold weather sterility and may occur at low levels unnoticed in many crops.

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Best bed guidelines for rice on beds (2002)


The possibility of growing rice on beds presents a number of challenges compared with the conventional way of growing rice. Beds have been used in other rice-growing regions in the world to reduce water use but in southern NSW the greatest benefit appears to be the flexibility the system offers for row cropping.  Growing rice on raised beds enables the rice phase to fit easily in a row cropping system Bankless channels, terracing and perhaps 1roof-topping' appears to be the best option to provide good surface drainage for the rice and other crops in the system Bed design of up to 1.8 m width works well, enabling 6 to 7 rows on the bed top.  Total nitrogen rates should be 33% higher for beds compared with conventional rice growing.  Field selection is a major consideration in weed management strategies.  Keep water shallow ponded or in the furrows until physiological maturity.

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Aroma and flavour qualities of Australian fragrant rice cultivars (January 2002)

This IREC Farmers Newsletter article is an update on a RIRDC project undertaken. The project investigates the Aroma and qualities of the Australian rice cultivars. The project investigated the effect of Nitrogen Fertiliser on volatile aroma compounds, the use of solid phase micro extraction and sensory testing. The project indicates that young plant tissue can be used to test fragrance. There is potential for early field testing of new varieties for fragrance using solid phase micro extraction. An Australian consumer panel used in the project preferred Australian fragrant rice of the Jasmine type. 

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Flavour and texture qualities of Australia gragrant rice cultivars - RIRDC Project UNS-12A (2001)

Fragrant rices fall into two main categories, jasmine, associated mainly with Thailand, and basmati, generally associated with the Indian sub-continent. New varieties of both are being developed at Yanco Agricultural Institute. As part of these programs, research at the University of New South Wales is examining the aroma and textural properties of new varieties, with prime focus on the newer basmati types.  A second season of data showing that volatile components for young rice plants could be used to detect fragrance has been collected.  Sensory data have been collected regarding perception of fragrant rice vs non-fragrant rice flavour from about 200 people of differing ages and cultural backgrounds.

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Comparing anhydrous ammonia (Big N) with urea in rice (August 2001)


Big N for pre-plant nitrogen boosted rice yield by 1 t/ha over urea. Big N offers greater opportunity to apply nitrogen 3-4 weeks before flooding. Big N and urea have similar effects on Microbes.  Studies reported by Heenan and Bacon (NSW Agriculture) in 1989 showed that urea nitrogen applied two weeks or more before permanent flooding of aerial sown rice significantly decreased the grain yields, which may be due to loss of nitrogen through volatilisation and denitrification, depending on soil type, soil moisture and weather conditions.

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A PINT to increase accuracy of rice PI Samples (August 2001)

This IREC Farmers Newsletter article presents an overview of current PI sampling techniques and results. It concluded practice at the time was not accurate and was presenting a new option. A PI nitrogen tube will be tested for cutting rice samples next year to help improve the accuracy for the PI Nitrogen test. Current PI sampling results suggests that the 0.1 m2 sampling ring is not sufficiently accurate guide for collecting plant material for many growers. Over sampling results in exaggerated fresh weights for crop, therefore exaggerated rates of nitrogen up take and correspondingly, under recommendation for nitrogen fertilizer. A new device for sampling, the PINT has been designed to reduce the ability to sample outside the required area. The article concludes that a number of test PINTs will be available to rice growers through the discussion groups this coming season. We are aiming to trial the new bigger, better PINT next season.

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Volatile aroma compunds of Australian Rice varieties (January 2001)

Fragrant rice is characterised by its pleasant fragrance and aroma. High milling returns and good cooking quality are often associated with fragrant rice (Nagaraju et al., 1975; Tripathi and Rao, 1979). However, fragrant cultivars often have undesirable agronomic characteristics such as low yield, susceptibility to pests and diseases and strong shedding (Berner and Hoff, 1986). Therefore, breeders wish to develop fragrant varieties with high yield and good resistance to pests.  Rice aroma is known to be genetically controlled (Reddy and Sathyanarayanaiah, 1980).  The study of rice aroma will be useful for identifying and locating the genes involved in the expression of this character. The characterisation of fragrant rice aroma will also provide markers to evaluate new fragrant varieties. Fragrant rice commands a high price compared to other rice. There is a strong incentive for its fraudulent adulteration. The ability to discriminate fragrant rice from cheaper, inferior rice varieties would protect the consumer and the honest trader. Therefore, the characterisation of fragrant rice aroma will benefit breeders, growers, marketers and millers of fragrant rice.

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Matching your rice variety to your N Management (2000)

Detailed research into the effect on nitrogen (N)fertiliser on four varieties reveals that the main differences between the tested varieties is due to length of season, and not due to grain type (ie. long grain v medium grain).  The higher yield of Namaga compared to Amaroo was seen in these experiments at low and medium N rates because of a greater percent grain.  At very high pre-flood N rates (240 Kg N/ha), Namaga and Amaroo had the same yield.   Treat all short straw rice similarly in regards to nitrogen application.  Possibly increase pre-flood N rates in Langi by a half bag per acre to obtain the same N uptake at PI as Amaroo and Namaga.

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Matching your rice variety to your N management (2000)

Detailed research into the effect on nitrogen (N) fertiliser on four varieties reveals that the main differences between the tested varieties is due to length of season, and not due to grain type (ie. long grain v medium grain).  The higher yield of Namaga compared to Amaroo was seen in these experiments at low and medium N rates because of a greater percent grain.  At very high pre-flood N rates (240 Kg N/ha), Namaga and Amaroo had the same yield.

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NIR for improved fertilisers predictions (1998)

This IREC Farmer Newsletter article presents information and results from the RIRDC funded project DAN148 investigating NIR test. The article presents information on the guide to crop fertilizer requirements, changes to the NIR tissue test for 1996/97. The article present information on what the NIR test can inform the farmer about each sample and assessing the bottom line prior to applying fertilizer. There is small amount of information of topdressing prior to PI and hints on demonstration in field on farms. The article also informs of the futures seasons of shoot samples being anaylised prior to the PI stage of development. 

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Chalk in medium- grain in 1996/97 (1998)

This IREC Farmer Newsletter article presents information on the RIRDC funded project DAN 147A that was investigating chalk in medium grain. The article presents information on starch accumulation during grain filling in rice, the implication of chalkiness in under fertilized rice crops, early drainage. The article also presents information of the future of the project and further studies into chalk in rice. 

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