Planting Rice in Leeton, Australia
January 31, 2007
The photo above shows a small plane dropping rice seeds into a flooded rice field near Leeton, New South Wales, Australia (picture taken in early November, 2006). Planting rice using small aircraft is a common practice in Australia, and this planting occurred during the NAFE06 microwave soil moisture experiment being conducted by the University of Melbourne in the Murrumbidgee River watershed. Much of southeastern Australia is in the midst of a prolonged drought, and short-term and long-term water issues in Murrumbidgee basin, as well as in the Murray-Darling river system, are a major concern. Agriculture in this area is irrigation-based, and potential reductions in water allocations due to the drought are a big concern to the local farmers and wineries. Photo taken by Lynn McKee of the Hydrology and Remote Sensing Lab, USDA/ARS, Beltsville, Maryland, U.S.A.