Influence of plant population on rice growth and grain yield


Currently there is one set of plant establishment population guidelines used across the whole rice industry in south east Australia. The basis for these recommended plant population guidelines is uncertain but growers need to have plant population guidelines that allow them to determine the best management decisions based on economics. Difficult rice establishment conditions often reduce plant populations to low levels, growers need to have plant population limits above which good yields can still be achieved, or below which resowing is required or maybe even the crop abandoned. Currently there is no objective data to assist rice growers in determining these limits. Conversely very high rice plant populations are suspected of increasing the susceptibility of the rice crop to low temperature damage during the microspore period, particularly in high nitrogen situations. Therefore upper plant population limits may also be required if this is proven to occur. In recent years there has been an increase in growers drill sowing their rice and it is anticipated that this trend may increase further. Many farmers now use drill sowing equipment with wider row spacing to sow their rice, the impact of wider row spacing on yields and weed control in drill sown rice also needs to be determined. This project will develop plant population guidelines that are relevant to current rice varieties and farming practices. The availability of plant population guidelines will lead to increased nitrogen use efficiency, water productivity and profitability of rice growing .



Research Organisation

The Crown in right of the State of NSW acting through the Department of Primary Industries

Objective Summary

The objectives of this project proposal are to: Determine the optimum plant populations for aerial and drill sown rice in the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys in south east Australia. Investigate the influence of high plant populations on coldinduced floret sterility and grain yield and determine maximum plant population limits for each of the rice growing regions Determine the economic lower plant population limits for aerial and drill sown rice Determine the appropriate row spacing to achieve most profitable grain yield for drill sown rice.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Project Completion Date

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

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