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.’’
Katunga winemaker Carlo Monichino lived life to the fullest and proved that anything was possible with hard work and a dream.
Although still not at their best, Mulwala have finished on top of the Murray League ladder after a comfortable victory over Cobram.
The International Guide Jamboree will take place at Lake Somerset, South East Queensland from September 25 to October 3, for Guides aged 10-17 years, and will be hosted by Girl Guides Australia.
CAMPASPE’S meals on wheels volunteers deserve to be celebrated.
MANY things run in the family in Rochester.
Kyabram under pressure to maintain vital top three spot
The Seymour sub-branch of the RSL needs information on local soldiers during World War I.
Berrigan public decides drainage works location
EARTHCOTE Events boss Spiro Boursinos has slammed allegations his annual Pyalong festival is anything but a safe and well organised function.
Handymen and creative builders will now have a safer space to work in after a donation allowed the Cobram Men’s Shed to invest in a defibrillator.
Cancer claims one of its fiercest combatants.
Kyabram dairy student Kerrilyn Bassett has won a Victorian TAFE award and will represent the state at a national level.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
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.