Profitable Rice-based Farming System

AgriFutures Australia - Siva Sivapalan

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

This project created information about best pest, weed and disease  management practices, and priorities for future research for those considering entering the rice industry in Northern Australia.


Agronomic options for northern Australia

What is the problem?

The rice industry in NSW is looking for opportunities for quality rice production in northern Australia. Local industry groups are also keen to establish a commercially viable rice industry to provide speciality rices for niche markets. Rice is also considered a potential crop for the new farmlands to become available from the Ord irrigation expansion projects.

What did the research involve?

This report contains the results of a series of experiments evaluating the best agronomic options for a profitable rice-based farming system in the tropical north Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

This project aimed to develop a suitable rice-based farming system in order to establish a viable industry based on the production of high-quality exportable produce. The emerging rice industry in tropical northern Australia has new challenges to increase production over the next few years.

The research described in this report had the following objectives:

  • to identify locally adapted rice varieties (including hybrid and blast disease-tolerant rice) with required quality characteristics for wet and dry seasons on raised-bed system compared with flood and upland conditions
  • to identify ideal establishment technique, sowing time, optimum sowing rate and plant population for each variety
  • to identify crop nutrition (amount and strategy) requirements, to determine irrigation requirements and weed/pest/disease control strategies
  • to evaluate the potential for rice rationing
  • to assess leakage losses under flooded systems

What were the key findings?

The major findings from this project will benefit primary producers in several ways:

  1. guidance about variety selection that would have grain yield and quality advantages in potential regions and production systems
  2. agronomic package supported by industries which are economically and environmentally sound
  3. information about the best pest, weed and disease management practices, and priorities for future research

Final comment
The broader benefits of implementing the results will be better food security for Australia and its near neighbors, and maintenance of an important export industry that is currently suffering from climate change and water security concerns.

2016 - Australia - AgriFutures Australia - Siva Sivapalan
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About the Organisation

Name: AgriFutures Australia

AgriFutures Australia is a new beginning for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. We are an organisation that proudly focuses on the future of Australian agriculture. We live and work in the regions and represent the interests and aspirations of farmers and rural communities.

Our vision is to grow the long-term prosperity of Australian rural industries. In practical terms, this means:

Initiatives that attract capable people into careers in agriculture, build the capability of future rural leaders, and support change makers and thought leaders.
Research and analysis to understand and address important issues on the horizon for Australian agriculture.
Research and development for established industries that do not have their own Research & Development Corporation (RDC), including the Rice, Chicken Meat, Honey Bee and Pollination, Thoroughbred Horse, Pasture Seeds, Export Fodder, Ginger and Tea Tree Oil industries.
Research and development to accelerate the establishment and expansion of new rural industries, such as Deer, Buffalo, Kangaroo and Camel Milk.

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