Yield trends highlighted
FINLEY group discussion meetings attracted 75 farmers covering planning for rice and timing of watering for wheat and canola recently.
Group facilitator John Lacy said farmers learnt a lot from the 52 Ricecheck crop records report from the 2010/11 season, which will assist them improve practices for the 2011 sowing season.
They said it was great to see how their practices compared to the practices of other farmers and learn from other farmers.
The 10 top yielding rice crops averaged 12t/ha.
Sowing on time, good establishment and weed control and application of a minimum of 180-200kg urea/ha before permanent water were a feature of the top 10 yielding crops.
Nine of the top 10 were topdressed with urea at panicle initiation.
There were no sowing method yield trends with aerial pregermination, dry broadcast and drill sowing all represented. Similarly there were no variety yield trends.
The average yield for the 52 crops was 10.4t/ha indicating the 2011 harvest was a good season.
The average water use was 14.4 ML/ha with irrigation making up 10.1 ML/ha and rainfall making up 4.3ML/ha.
This resulted in a water productivity of 0.7t/ML which is the target for the East Murray Valley.
The average sowing rate was 159kg/ha.
The average prepermanent water urea rate was 194kg urea/ha which is close to the minimum rate recommendation by NSW DPI Researcher Brian Dunn.
Mr Lacy said with one year’s experience growing rice again farmers were planning 200-250kg urea/ha urea rates.
On rice stubbles they were going to apply an extra 50-80 urea kg/ha. Phosphorus was applied to 27 per cent of the crops with lower P levels.
Mr Lacy was disappointed the timing of spring watering of wheat and particularly of canola was late.
One G Dot soil moisture meter reading indicated the crop was ready to water 10 days earlier.
Soil augering was difficult at both the Garry Seamer and Ian Bryce crops.
Farmers seemed to have forgotten the three years results from the Logie Brae Landcare project.
The results showed for top watering responses with canola it needed watering at the start of flowering, not at mid flowering as farmers were preparing to do this season.
Mr Lacy added that although he was now an agricultural consultant he was happy running the groups as a community service and at minimum cost to farmers and could be contacted on johnmar[email protected]mail.com or phone 0427 311 821.
Farmers check wheat crop soil moisture in Jerilderie.