According to the sources, it has been reported that the severe reduction in this year’s water allocation has the farmers taking the unusual step of combining their water to grow rice, in the Riverina. For Shelley Scoullar, who has been farming for five years, she was contemplating a year of no rice, instead concentrating on her other crops, which include wheat, peas and barley. It was informed that she love growing rice, and passionate about it. Further, it was narrated that it was pretty devastated when it was realised that it would not have enough water to grow rice this year.
As a proverb, it goes as “Necessity is the mother of all invention “. So, out of this necessity Ms Scoullar sat down with her father Mr. John Hand, who has been growing rice for over 30 years, to brainstorm a solution to this problem. The solution was for the two to pool their water allocation and combine with neighbour and prominent rice grower Mr. John Bradford. This resulted in the three sowing rice on 66 hectares of Mr Hand’s 600 hectare property, located across the road from his daughter’s. Thus, it was decided that we will go through as the season goes on.. and divide costs so the growers get a reasonable percentage that we are all happy with as Mr Hand said. However, it was observed that there is still a bit of nuts and bolts to do at the moment, but we have agreed in principle for what we want to achieve the objectives.
According to Mr Hand, that Rice Growers Australia was keeping an eye on the group’s efforts. It was believed that the operation could be a “set up” to allow other farmers to continue rice growing in periods of restricted water allocation. Ms Scoullar, who operates on 185 hectares, believes that it is the way the young people could enter the industry. As a young farmer, it is really hard to get a foot in the door. This is something we all need to think about in the future, because I think our reliability on water is being jeopardized. In case If you are passionate about growing rice, this is one of the way that we can keep the rice industry going on and our communities, which rely on our rice crop.
Furthermore, in this regard, Mr Hand acknowledged dedicating his 66 hectares to the project could cost him a little bit in the short term, as the other two participants now have land freed up for other money-making ventures. However, it was revealed that there were benefits in offering his land to the project. Rice in our cropping program has a huge advantage for the following crops, obviously moisture … and disease break for cereals and weed free paddocks as Mr Hand told. In addition, it was discovered that in the millennium drought, where we got three or four years without rice and the effect that had on the cost of growing the other cereal crops was reasonably substantial. While, it is only the first year, Mr Hand believes so far the evidence strongly supports the three continuing it in years to come, rotating between the different farms.