The Rice Extension program is key to influencing and increasing the adoption of water saving technologies and other good management practices to increase the productivity, profitability, and sustainability of Australian rice production. Ultimately the program contributes to achievement of the rice industry’s water use productivity target of an average of 1.5 tonnes of rice per megalitre (ML) by 2027.
Achievement of this ambitious target requires transformational research, development, and extension. AgriFutures, SunRice and Ricegrowers Australia are collaborating on a single extension structure that enables targeted and individual information, advice, and support for existing and potential rice growers. The program works with a range of other industry stakeholders to deliver its outcomes including government agencies, agronomists, private and public sector service providers, and independent grower groups.
The Rice Extension program shares research findings, agronomic advice, and information about best management practices through print, email, social media, and extension activities. These activities include group-based grower extension meetings, on-farm demonstrations, field days, agronomist workshops, and one-to-one contact. The program has a strong focus on adoption and uptake of the latest technologies, including the use of data, benchmarking, and tools to drive on-farm decision-making.
The Rice Extension Program will be responsible for the promotion, education and increased adoption of key learnings and Decision-Making Support tools as developed under the Rice Agronomy Pillar of this R&D program. Rice Extension will also be responsible for educating growers on the latest recommendations, timings and management practices for all current and new varieties as published in Annual Rice Growing Guides, as published by the NSW DPI.
The program enables responsiveness to unplanned incidents that impact rice growers such as weed, pest or disease outbreaks.
The expected benefits from the Rice Extension program are higher water productivity and/or lower water input costs, improved crop yields and rice quality, lower production risk, and overall, a more sustainable rice production system.