Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Heat to help rice return

Deniliquin Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia branch president Nick Morona says the heat wave experienced across the region has helped some local rice crops.

ZOE MCMAUGH February 19, 2014 4:42am

The heat wave that has gripped the local area so far in 2014 has actually helped revive some rice crops, according to Deniliquin Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia branch president Nick Morona.

Mr Morona said the heat has helped rice to recover after a slow start to the growing season.

While high temporary water prices have had a impact on the amount of rice planted this year, the local RGA president Mr Morona said the yield should be on par or better than last season.

‘‘A lot of farmers were behind in the first half of the growing season because of cold temperatures in October and November,’’ he said.

‘‘We had a cold, hard start but the hot weather has helped the rice catch up.

‘‘It has actually come to a head a lot quicker and the crops are looking quite good.

‘‘If we are to get an autumn break (rain), everything would fall nicely into place (for winter crops) ... it’s all looking okay.’’

Mr Morona said the price of water had prompted some ricegrowers to ‘‘back off’’ their planting, but he said his own family enterprise had increased its crop this year.

Mr Morona farms with his brother Steve, and together they have 400 hectares of rice in, which is ‘‘between 40 and 60 hectares’’ more than last year.

‘‘I think those people who put rice in should hope to get a good return,’’ Mr Morona said.

‘‘Through the panicle and microspore phase we had pretty good weather, so yield should be quite solid.’’

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