IN A tough season for the MIA's rice growers, there is still much to celebrate.
Jerilderie growers Peter and Renee Burke have taken out the 2019 SunRice Grower of the Year award, impressing the judges with their agronomic and business management.
The Burkes own and operate a 1280-hectare (ha) irrigation farm and their management is marked by industry-leading workplace health and safety; and water use efficiency driven by recycling, on-farm storage and a move to drill sowing.
Mr Burke said precision agriculture had underpinned a big jump in water efficiency and productivity.
"Our laser levelled bankless channel irrigation layout with Padman Stops ensures high flow rates of water when irrigating cereals and drill-sown rice crops," he said.
"Precision agriculture has improved our equipment efficiency and provided data to help make management decisions.
"We regularly grade our paddocks to remove variation and ensure uniformity of crop development and irrigation which helps with management."
The award recognises innovation, new technology and latest research outcomes adopted in the rice industry.
The recipient of this award must showcase high yields and high water use efficiency grown in a sustainable way with successful adoption of new technology and innovation.
Finalists included Steve and Jacalyn Cremasco, Frank and Lynda Quarisa, Ian Payne and Sharon Breed and John Hawkins.
In addition to the top award, growers Brett and Louise Turner scooped the Rice Extension Highest Yield for C19.
The awards were presented at the Ricegrowers' Association of Australia recent conference where 250 growers, industry representatives and supporters came together to celebrate the industry in Corowa.
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