Mammoth rice event

5 Mar 2018

Chris Dawe, Craig Hodges, Brian Dunn and Tina Dunn standing in a rice field

Hundreds of rice growers, researchers and agribusiness representatives will meet at the Yanco Agricultural Institute on Thursday 15 March to attend the annual rice industry field day.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Southern Cropping Director, Deb Slinger, said the event will showcase results from the Australian Rice Partnership, which links NSW DPI, SunRice and AgriFutures Australia.

“Results for current rice varieties from 14 NSW DPI experiments in the Murrumbidgee and Murray Valleys investigating water, nitrogen and agronomic management, are highlights of the field day,” Ms Slinger said.

“NSW DPI researchers are helping to fine-tune agronomic practices which deliver water savings and can increase gross margins by up to 59 per cent.

“A combination of direct drill sowing and delayed permanent water can save growers up to 4.5 megalitres per hectare compared with aerial sowing and traditional rice irrigation, and that extra water is available to grow more rice and increase gross margins.”

NSW DPI’s rice breeding program is a major focus of the partnership and the field day will feature trials of new varieties due for potential release in the near future.

The latest results from a joint project between NSW DPI and Charles Sturt University, through the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Functional Grains, will focus on factors affecting whole rice grain yield.

The project explores how irrigation management, plant densities, nitrogen rates and timing of nitrogen application affect grain quality to identify management practices which can improve grain quality and profitability.

Growers will hear the latest information on pest and disease management, grain and milling quality research results and see precision rice sowing and harvesting equipment.

A bus tour of NSW DPI’s Yanco Agricultural Institute and Leeton Field Station will inspect research trials designed to inform and boost rice production.

The field day will run from 9.30 am until 1.30 pm, with complimentary lunch followed by a SunRice update.

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