Leading global branded food company SunRice reports that the forecast 2018 Riverina rice harvest of 600,000 tonnes will be exceeded by around 25,000 tonnes, due to strong yields having been experienced across rice-growing regions and the different rice varieties.
615,000 tonnes have been delivered to SunRice’s Australian Grain Storage (AGS) depots across the Riverina, with a further 10,000 tonnes expected by the end of May, when harvest is likely to be completed.
While overall yields for the season are yet to be confirmed, a standout result was a 14.8 tonnes per hectare yield achieved for a medium grain Reiziq crop grown in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA), which outstripped the region’s five-year average of 11.7 tonnes per hectare by 3.1 tonnes/hectare.
Highlighting Australian rice growers’ reputation as the world’s most water efficient, this high yielding crop was grown using only 9.6 megalitres of water (1.5 tonnes being produced per megalitre), which far exceeds the targeted industry benchmark of 1 tonne/1 megalitre of water. Across the Riverina this season, it was relatively common for growers to achieve yield to water usage rates of around 1.25 tonnes per megalitre.
This particular crop generated a gross profit margin of approximately $3,700/ha or $380 per megalitre of water, demonstrating the profitability of growing rice in the Riverina