Rice Extension Coordination
Ricegrowers' Association of Australia
Project code: PRJ-009296
Project stage: Closed
Project start date: Monday, June 16, 2014
Project completion date: Tuesday, January 30, 2018
National Priority: RIC-Coordinated industry extension
Due to the re-structure of the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the change in focus of Commonwealth Government funding, rice farmers have lost their regional district agronomists (DAs) and regional coordinators for the Environmental Champions Program (ECP). The ‘Rice Industry Extension Coordination Project’ (the project) will address these extension gaps.
The project is to be delivered over three years, from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2017, and will establish a levy-funded extension system across the rice growing regions utilising modern delivery methods. The new extension system will coordinate relevant RD&E activities and best management practice (BMP) information that incorporates natural resource management (NRM), and establish and manage a network of on-ground extension service providers. The levy-funded system will fund the rice industry extension coordinator position; three full-time equivalent (FTE) extension positions; training and development of emerging industry advisors, and all publications and communication activities.
The project will ensure that relevant R&D information reaches growers in a way that can be readily understood and practically implemented on farm, provide feedback channels to design more targeted R&D, and build grower and industry capacity. The project aligns with one of the 2014–15 Rice Program research priorities: ‘Goal 4—Extension, communication and partnership development’.
Note: two extension scoping workshops will be completed on 12 and 13 September 2013. Information gathered during these workshops will better inform the direction and focus of the project.
Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia
The principle outcome of the project is to improve the uptake of rice industry BMP and the adoption of new technologies. This will be achieved by meeting the following objectives:
1. Effective and timely dissemination of key R&D information for rice-based farming systems that is easy for growers to understand and apply on farm through:
– published and electronic materials
– meetings and discussion groups
– on farm demonstrations
– an effective platform for storing and sharing rice R&D information.
2. Effective coordination between relevant public and private sector rice industry providers including: NSW DPI, NSW Local Land Services (LLS) officers, ECP, SunRice, Rice Research Australia Pty Ltd (RRAPL), researchers, private and retail agronomists, other relevant commodity industries and growers. An effective network will:
– avoid duplication of RD&E effort and identify synergies within the rice industry and related commodities
– provide a conduit for two-way information flow between growers and researchers to identify emerging issues for rice-based farming systems and better target research investment
– disseminate more holistic information to growers as cost effectively as possible through better integration of retail sector services and partnerships.
3. Assist growers to develop ‘systems farming’ thinking and make strategic operational decisions, including a better understanding of the positive relationship between production efficiency, enterprise profitability and natural resource management.