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Water savings a winner for rice grower of the year

Water savings a winner for rice grower of the year

A company most effective identified for its wine manufacturing now lays claim to being the most effective rice grower in the country. 

Key aspects:

  • Farm manager Darrell Fiddler from DeBortoli Wines in the Riverina has been awarded SunRice grower of the year
  • Winners of the best yield award have been Nathan and Kylie Ceccato from Yenda, for their 13.9 tonne a hectare sever
  • David Brain from Coleambally was recognised for his ongoing contribution to the Australian rice trade

Darrell Fiddler, who is the farm manager for DeBortoli Wines, at Bilbul near Griffith in the NSW Riverina, was named SunRice grower of the year at the Rice Trade Awards.

Early Newspaper

Mr Fiddler was recognised for his sturdy focus on water exhaust effectivity, abilities adoption, and implementation of the latest research, trend and extension. 

Mr Fiddler was interested with an aerobic rice trial with Deakin College, which interested automation and moisture monitoring to optimise water exhaust effectivity.

Banking on another bumper sever

Mr Fiddler has been rising rice for DeBortoli Wines for 12 years and last season they grew 300 hectares of rice at the Bilbul farm. 

“It was a challenging season as it was one of the coldest seasons in 20 years, nevertheless overall we have been very pleased with the sever yields,” he said. 

Mr Fiddler attributed the operation’s sturdy yields, productiveness, and sustainability to improved agronomy practices.

“These embody variable rate fertiliser application, sod sowing and minimal tillage, double or triple cropping, and implementing a rotation including wheat and other summer season vegetation,” he said.

“Utilizing permanent tracks for spraying and spreading of fertiliser means that we can be really timely and environment pleasant.”

The Murrumbidgee at the moment has a general safety allocation of 50 per cent and, with rice planting looming, Mr Fiddler hoped to grow at least another 300 hectares of rice this season. 

“Expectantly we can net an swear on our water allocations and net some rice back in the sheds for SunRice,” he said. 


Making each fall count

Rice extension officer Harriet Brickhill said Mr Fiddler’s innovative approach to farming and a commitment to sustainability caught the judges’ attention.

“He grows rice as part of a rotation with other irrigated summer season vegetation and winter cereals and has demonstrated a sturdy focus on bettering his water productiveness via management having successfully automated the irrigation for a Viand rice sever,” Ms Brickhill said. 

Mr Fiddler said in his years rising rice the greatest change he had witnessed was water exhaust effectivity.

Taking a examine ahead, Mr Fiddler said there was a future for rice manufacturing in the Riverina. 

“As prolonged as we net sturdy water allocations, rice is a beneficial sever to grow and it has a lot of legal attributes,” he said. 

A woman holding a bunch of flowers and two men wearing face masks and holding an award.

Kylie and Nathan Ceccato from Yenda in the Riverina have been winners of the best yield award, pictured with David Bardos from award sponsor Port of Melbourne.(

Supplied: Rice Extension


Winners of the best yield have been Nathan and Kylie Ceccato from Yenda, who took out the award with a yield of 13.95 tonnes a hectare for their Reiziq rice sever. 

Their yield represents a pick of 18 per cent over the prolonged-term average for the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.

The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia honorary councillor award was offered to David Brain from Coleambally for his ongoing contribution to the Australian rice trade.

Water savings a winner for rice grower of the year