Rice NIR & Remote Sensing

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

  • Project code: PRJ-007477

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Sunday, July 15, 2012

  • Project completion date: Saturday, May 30, 2015

  • National Priority: RIC-Agronomy and farming systems


The accurate determination of a rice crops nitrogen requirement is critical to rice growers achieving consistently high yields and profits. As there is no accurate pre-sowing soil nitrogen test for rice, farmers use their knowledge and field history to determine pre-permanent water nitrogen application rates then sample their crops at panicle initiation for analysis by the NIR Tissue Test service to determine the optimal crop topdressing nitrogen rate to apply mid-season. Currently over 35% of rice crops in NSW have their nitrogen status assessed during the season by the SunRice NIR Tissue Test Service.

This service and numerous rice research projects utilise accurate sample nitrogen analysis provided by the Bruker FT-NIR instrument which is fast, accurate and low cost compared to nitrogen analysis using standard laboratory techniques. The maintenance of the NIR instrument and annual update of the numerous rice shoot, grain and straw nutrient calibrations which is undertaken in this project are essential to the success of numerous projects.

An integral component in this project is the inclusion of district agronomists to help increase adoption of the tissue test service by growers and commercial agronomists and also improve their crop sampling techniques.



Research Organisation

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

Objective Summary

The expected outcomes from the project are continual improvement in nitrogen management leading to increases in nitrogen use efficiency and rice grain yields, resulting in increased water productivity and grower profitability.

The main objectives are;
1) Annually update and maintain the rice PI tissue, grain and straw nitrogen calibrations and the NIR instrument for use in the SunRice tissue test service.
2) Ensure the instrument is providing accurate plant nitrogen results and growers receive quality nitrogen topdressing rate recommendations.
3) Provide NIR nitrogen analysis support to other rice research projects.
4) Promote the benefits of the Tissue Test service to growers and increase the percent of rice crops that use the test to determine nitrogen topdressing rates.