July 24, 2012
Improved seasonal conditions and grower interest will see the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) hold its popular ‘Rice for Profit’ course for the first time in six years. The course, which will be held from 24-26 July at NSW DPI’s Murrumbidgee Rural Studies Centre at Yanco, is for producers who want to improve their skills in managing rice and maximising yields. NSW DPI District Agronomist at Coleambally, and one of the course coordinators, Kieran O’Keeffe, said this was the first time the course has been held in six years, mostly due to the drought. “Rice growing is on a roll at present in the Riverina, and this change of fortunes has meant there has been a lot of interest in this course from regional growers, some of whom?s families have been growing rice for generations, and new commercial agronomists. “To date, 21 people have registered for the course which has a maximum of 25 places, and this is very pleasing.” Mr O’Keeffe said the three-day course has a lot to offer participants with its intensive program of field visits and presentations from rice researchers, an irrigation officer and several District Agronomists. “The ‘Rice for profit’ course allows the young participants to update their skills and it’s a great refresher for the older ones,” he said. “It is being delivered mainly indoors and participants will receive a course manual and crop protection and variety guides.” Day one of the course covers, rice farm layout, Precision Agriculture tools, crop establishment and improving yields. While day two includes pest management, weed control, nutrition, water use and management, preparing, planting and sowing, and a field trip to SunRice’s Leeton manufacturing plant. On the last day, participants will look at managing the crop from sowing to harvest, principles of Ricecheck and harvest and grain quality, and future directions in rice growing. The cost of the course is $810 and this includes the field tour. Registrations close on Monday 23 July. Please note that this course is limited to 25 places.