Deniliquin Pastoral Times
Address your waterlogging
If your winter crop’s heavy soils are up to the waterlogging stage, remember that for each day the soil is waterlogged the soil is losing 1kg of nitrogen per hectare.
Crops will yellow off in lower leaves as roots struggle to grow in unaerated soil.
If this is the case, you may need to consider extra late topdressing when the water- logging is over.
I hope you remembered to record the date of the start of canola flowering when 10 per cent of the main stems had flowers.
I realise there are a number of late canola crops.
With the very high canola prices lower potential crops are still worth spending inputs on, particularly if the rest of the growing season stays cool and rainy.
If the dams keep filling we would expect good allocations that will provide plenty of water for watering winter crops, and for summer crops such as rice.
I know many farmers have written rice off, but the reasons for growing rice this season are:
Ricecheck analysis of last season’s crops showed that if farmers adopted all the 10 key checks, yields were over 9t/ha and several crops were in the 10-13t/ha range.
Ricecheck totally diagnosed every crop above or below 9t/ha.
A number of farmers forgot about the Finley Discussion Group Ricecheck checks.
Many drill farmers’ preflood and PI topdressing rates were well above the Finley Discussion Group Check recommendations.
High nitrogen overfertilised crops are more sensitive to cold damage and that’s what occurred.
Viand has lower fertiliser rates (about 100kg urea) than Reiziq to reduce chance of lodging, but several drill Viand crops had the same rate as Reiziq.
Late sowing and PI date contributed.
Aerial and dry broadcast crops yielded well above drill crops but on the other hand the aerial water use was 2ML/ha higher.
I think the high aerial water use was a one-off.
If you decide to grow rice and use the Finley Ricecheck recommendations that the discussion groups have developed, and adopt all the checks, you will obtain 10t/ha crop yields or higher in the 2021 sowing season.
VO71, the new variety to replace Reiziq, blitzed Reiziq and the other varieties as it has good cold tolerance.
Although we are normally careful pushing a new variety, VO71 ticks all the boxes and you should try and grow at least one paddock of VO71 this season.
At the 2021 Rice Field Day we were shown a graph of world long grain prices which were heading upwards.
At the Berriquin RGA meeting it was stated COVID and shipping has made it difficult for SunRice to announce 2021 prices.
If Reiziq stays in the $390-$450/t price range or higher for the 2021-22 season, then I think rice gross margins based on $35/ML allocation water prices makes rice very attractive to grow.