Improved water availability and a new variety on the boil is setting rice growers up for their best start in years this season. It's the first year medium-grain variety, V071, has been widely available commercially and growers were not hesitating to give the more cool-tolerant variety a good go.
DPI research agronomist, Brian Dunn, said V071 - bred by Australian Rice Partnership, a NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), SunRice and AgriFutures Australia joint venture - offered superior grain yield and cold tolerance compared with popular medium grain variety Reiziq.
"Our research shows V071 has strong emergence and establishment vigour with reduced shattering, which will be of interest to growers," Mr Dunn said.
"Another feature of V071 is that its development continues and does not slow during periods of low temperatures like Reiziq, which is beneficial in cool seasons."
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Dean and Hilary Knight, Korraglen, Jerilderie will grow new variety V071, instead of Reiziq, for the first time this year.
Mr Knight is a seed delegate and said he saw a lot of seed crops with Reiziq and V071 side by side last year and it was clear V071 was the winner.
"Last year was a cold year so it really showed, and I thought 'I want some of this'", Mr Knight said.
"Our biggest problem is cold years, you do all this work and then you get to January and the cold can knock you over if you haven't done everything right.
"The market seems to like it (V071) too so I think it will take over from Reiziq."
SunRice has announced $400/mt fixed price contracts for both Reiziq and V071 this season.
Mr Knight, who will plant close to 40 hectares in mid-October, said despite expecting a higher price to the one on offer, he had locked in a contract in order to secure seed supply for the new variety.
"At the opening up of the trade it was indicated the price would be a bit better but it's a starting point," Mr Knight said.
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