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Click on the link below for the interim changes to the rice rules for the 2015/16 season. The changes include flexibility in the Rice Approved Area.
The Rice Water Use (RWU) targets for this season from 1 October 2014 to 28 February 2015, are calculated using ETT and rainfall data from each MI Automatic Weather Station (AWS) are displayed in the table below. The final RWU targets include 2ML/ha for filling the profile and 2ML/ha for drainage.
To calculate the rice water use target, we add the ETT figures for 1 October to 28 February and multiply it by the rice crop co-efficient (1.16). From that, we take away the rainfall that fell in the same period. To this, we add 2 ML/ha to fill up the profile and 2 ML/ha for drainage at the end of the season. That figure becomes the rice water use target for the season.
Rice Water Use Targets are allocated to individual landholdings based on proximity in relation to the closest AWS.
To view progressive monthly Rice Water Use Target Estimates for the 2015/16 Irrigation season to date click this link:
2015/16 Season RWUT as of December 2015
2014/15 Rice Water Use Target (PDF)
Rice crop coefficient now 1.16
AWS evapotranspiration figures are now calculated using the internationally recognised FAO56 equation modified to represent tall crops ETref_t. The rice crop coefficient used in conjunction with ETref_t. Is 1.16
Customers are advised that the Rice Environmental Monitoring (REM) Program was implemented in October 2011, in accordance with our Water Management Works Licence No. IC5 issued by NOW. To ensure customers are complying with the licence, rice growing must be within our Rice Growing Rules. Guidelines include growing only on rice approved soils and any chemicals applied must be kept on farm for a minimum of 28 days. To assist with best management practice, landholdings in single farming units are permitted to pool their annual entitlement and select the most suitable farm for rice growing. However individual flow rate share rules must also be considered when pooling annual entitlements.
Together with the Ricegrowers' Association of Australia, we have published a "Rice Growing Policy" also known as the "Rice Growing Rules". This document endeavours to balance the interest of rice growers and their businesses with our licence obligations and the MIA environment.
Link MI Rice Growing Rules
Rice Growing Three Year Farm Plan
MI has reintroduced the optional three year farm plans for rice growing with the support of the Rice Growers’ Association of Australia (RGA). These plans are designed to allow farmers to use their farm layout efficiently while avoiding a negative impact on regional watertables.
Farmers can grow up to 10 hectares per landholding over their Annual Rice Approved Area in any one season, as long as they do not exceed their total allowable area over the three years. A $200 administration fee will be charged at the start of the plan.
We would like to remind landholders all chemicals applied to rice must be kept on farm for a minimum of 28 days prior to drainage. In the event of an unscheduled release of chemically treated water entering MI drainage within the 28 day period, the landholder must notify MI immediately to allow our risk management process to be enacted. We look forward to working with our customers to ensure best management practice and licence compliance.
Electromagnetic Induction (EM) soil surveys are used to measure soil conductivity to assess rice suitability, as well as confirming soil salinity, locating shallow aquifers and deeper storages.
Note: Graph details RWU using data from the CSIRO Hanwood weather station. Rice Water Use figures are provided the for previous season and also past seasons with high variability for comparison.
If you have any questions, please contact our
Water Resources Officer on (02) 6962 0200.
The endangered bird species, the Australasian Bittern, arrives in rice crops about two months after sowing and begins nesting once there is sufficient cover. These tips are based on the key findings from the work to date of the Bitterns in Rice Project (by RGA, Birdlife Australia and other sponsors). The tips are for rice growers in the MIA that are keen and able to help conserve this special bird.
Download "Bittern Friendly Rice Growing Tips"