Agronomic options for profitable rice-based farming system in northern Australia


Among the new crops trialled in the Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA), rice has been demonstrated as a potentially suitable highreturn crop suitable for this region. Yields of up to 13.6 t/ha (2009) and gross margins of up to $2,442/ha (based on 7.5 t/ha at $550/t in 2010) have been demonstrated. However, trials conducted at Frank Wise Institute of Tropical Agriculture in 2010/11 and the experience of local commercial growers have shown that many issues regarding suitable varieties, planting date, sowing rate, fertiliser and irrigation requirements remain unresolved, especially when rice is grown in rotation with other crops. A rotation system based on rice and a legume crop on a permanent raisedbed system appears highly suitable and profitable for the soil types in this region. The emerging rice industry has new challenges to increase production over the next few years. In order to establish a viable industry based on production of high quality exportable produce, a suitable ricebased farming system needs to be developed. This research project aims to establish the best agronomic options for a profitable ricebased farming system in the ORIA. Major outcomes will be guidelines for potential rice growers in tropical regions of Australia.



Research Organisation

Western Australian Agriculture Authority, a body corporate established under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007

Objective Summary

1. To identify locally adapted rice varieties (including hybrid and blast diseasetolerant rice) with required quality characteristics for wet and dry seasons on raisedbed conditions 2. To identify ideal sowing time, optimum sowing rate and plant population for each variety 3. To identify crop nutrition (amount and strategy) requirements, to determine irrigation requirements and weed/pest/disease control strategies 4. To evaluate the potential of rice ratooning.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Monday, July 30, 2012

Project Completion Date

Friday, May 15, 2015

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries

National Priority

Adoption of R&D

National Priority

RIC-Farm productivity - crop inputs, crop protection and the farming system


Related publications


Agronomic options for profitable rice-based farming system in northern Australia