Deniliquin rice stakeholders have predicted the 2013-14 rice season will fall short of last year's record.TYLA HARRINGTON January 14, 2014 4:45am
Local rice stakeholders believe the 2013-14 rice season has been extremely challenging, with some agronomists tipping a 40 per cent reduction in rice in the local area.
The 2012-2013 harvest yielded a record 1.2 million tonnes of rice, but weather conditions and water prices have impacted heavily this year.
SunRice is still calculating the official yield figures and, pending the research, would not make a prediction.
Elders Deniliquin agronomist Adam Dellwo, however, said high water prices have resulted in less rice being planted in the local area.
‘‘Prices spiked early on and deterred people from putting in rice. Overall there will certainly be less rice than last year.’’
Mr Dellwo also said cold temperatures and windy conditions had contributed to one of ‘‘the most challenging seasons for a long time’’.
He believes the Deniliquin area will harvest 30 to 40 per cent less rice than last year.
‘‘There were a lot of problems establishing crops early on,’’ Mr Dellwo said.
‘‘The cold weather and wind affected the crops. Once it gets under 14°C is when crops can be damaged.
‘‘We usually get wind in October but this season we’ve had it in October, November, December and even now.
‘‘When there’s wind it’s hard for things to establish and plants don’t anchor to the ground.
‘‘There were also a mob of isolated ducks around but overall ducks haven’t been a big issue.
‘‘Crops are looking good now with the hot weather predicted for this week – it’s absolutely what we need.’’
Murray Local Land Services senior land service officer (mixed farming system) John Fowler agreed, saying many Murray Valley rice growers have rated the 2013-14 rice season as one of their ‘‘most difficult’’.
He also cited difficult weather conditions in October and November as a cause.
Mr Fowler said several crops have been abandoned or are in poor condition.
‘‘Crops that did manage to achieve good plant establishment, however, are now looking quite good,’’ he said.
‘‘Growers at this stage are hopeful of at least average yield potential, though there are some significant hurdles still remaining before harvest.’’
Overall, Mr Fowler estimates the amount of rice planted in the local region has dropped by 20 per cent this year.
Mr Fowler said the price of temporary water continues to be excessively high and is trading for around $85 per megalitre, plus charges for delivery.
‘‘Most growers are hoping they have sufficient water to finish crops though many may need to source small quantities to do so,’’ he said.
Local rice grower John Bradford said despite the rough start, his own crops are expected to produce good results.
‘‘It hasn’t been a normal year – it’s been a challenging season and we can definitely see lower plant numbers,’’ he said.
‘‘The downside is we will have lower volumes for the amount of rice produced, but the upside is we should get a higher price for the rice.’’
Dookie artist Andrew Sands gets attention with red dirt-covered ute.
The talent was truly amazing at this year’s Mulwala Water Ski Club’s Got Talent competition.
Malcolm Campbell is the new president of the Lions Club of Tatura after he was inducted by Global Leadership 201V5 chair Pat Mills at the club’s changeover dinner at the Top Pub on Saturday, July 12.
Richard McLean notched up his first win when he took part in Echuca-Moama Cycling Club's fourth and final round of the Ivan and Lorraine Collings Memorial Trophy at Lockington.
Our Lady of Sacred Heart Primary School in Elmore has received a grant which will be used to buy musical equipment for the school.
If you thought it was cold yesterday morning, you weren’t wrong!
Brigade transforms station for Christmas in July.
Despite being scheduled to play at home this Saturday, Finley footballers and netballers will instead make the trip to Blighty.
Axedale student Zara Smith has created history, raising the single largest amount raised by a primary school student in the Jump Rope for Heart event’s 31-year history.
Cobram Garden Club hosts floral art, cake and more than 40 well wishers at luncheon to celebrate its double-decade milestone.
Despite being two wins from top spot, the Rams are now in a fight to make finals.
Innovative irrigators are being encouraged to apply for a 2014 Rural Water Award and the chance to win a $2000 cash prize.
The Melbourne Scottish fiddlers return to Swanpool to raise money for local CFA brigades. Group officer Jim Ranken and fiddle player Kristin Marriott
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.