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Scientists Pursue Rice Development

04 November 2010

AUSTRALIA – Scientists are continuing to develop new ways of growing emerging rice varieties in the Top End region of the Northern Territory.

ABC News reported that rice has a "controversial" history in the state, with a number of bids to develop a profitable industry in the last fifty years failing, despite government support.

The Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research is currently assisting trials of producing south-east Asian rice varieties in the challenging Top End agriculture conditions.

Rowena Eastick from the Department of Resources said that new lines will be planted at Tortilla Flats, south of Darwin, in December.

Ms Eastick said: "Once we get the crops in the ground we'll be able to look at some of the growing traits of rice ... such as length of growing season.

"Features such as yield are quite important, what sort of grain numbers and weight of rice grains do we get off these plants."

Earlier this week, New Era reported that rice growers in Nambia have benefited from the donation of milling machines, to assist them to harvest small pieces of land within their mahangu fields, which have been designated for the trial of rice crops.

TheCropSite News Desk

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