This year’s theme for the annual field day was Rice Innovation: restacking the shelves – a nod to the demand for rice as one of the first staple foods food retailers restricted in response to panic buying, 2021’s promising outlook, and the industry’s focus on innovation to ensure the industry remains a competitive user of farm business resources.
Reflecting on the season and the annual event, Rice Extension Coordinator Troy Mauger was enthusiastic about the prospects and was pleased to see such a great turn out.
“It’s a busy season and we’re really pleased so many growers were able to make the time to get off the farm and to bring the industry together.”
From RD&E to marketing and everything in between, growers heard from AgriFutures Australia on the future of the Rice Program, and how it’s approaching RD&E to ensure it delivers returns on the rice research and development levy for growers. Plus, SunRice presented on what the Riverina Sustainability Framework means for rice growers, the current season, the broader business, and future outlook.
AgriFutures Rice Advisory Panel Chair and rice grower Drew Braithwaite updated growers on the AgriFutures Rice Program’s RD&E investments and the future of the program.
“Rice growers have made a huge commitment to innovation, we have a massive responsibility and opportunity to ensure that the growers’ levies are invested wisely and we deliver value on return on that increase. There is an opportunity to transform the rice industry and to work with SunRice, the Ricegrowers Association of Australia, growers and researchers to meet the industry’s ambitious water productivity target of 1.5 tonne per megalitre of water.”
SunRice Group Chairman Laurie Arthur reinforced the industry’s collaborative approach and commitment to invest in research, development and extension that supports rice production and growers, and spoke to the increased production in the Riverina.