The Ultimate Award for the Rice Industry

The SunRice Grower of the Year Award is the ultimate award which recognises innovation, new technology and latest research outcomes adopted in the rice industry. In C19, it has been awarded to Jerilderie growers Peter & Renee Burke.

A field walk will be held at the Burke’s Thursday 12 December 2019. For more information click here.

Nominations are now closed and will re open early 2020.

Nominees can be from farm businesses growing a minimum of 15 hectares of rice (this includes sharefarmers) and demonstrating high levels of achievement in the rice farm operation.

Yield and quality results will be obtained via SunRice records.

Nominations will be judged on the whole business, not just a farm or crop basis.

Board members or employees of SunRice and employees of RGA and Rice Extension are ineligible to nominate.

Stage 1: All entries are to be submitted electronically.

Stage 2: Preliminary judging by a panel of three judges. Nominations will be reduced to five businesses that will move to stage 3.

Stage 3: On farm judging. The judging panel will visit each of the five finalists’ farms for a tour and interview of two hours duration.  This tour will be held in June 2019.  Nominees are encouraged to involve their staff and consultants in the farm tour. The farm tour should focus on those areas that most directly address the Awards Criteria and the areas of strength that have been identified in the initial nomination.

The finalists will be announced in April. Finalists will be required to participate in some media and promotion activities.  This usually involves responding to requests from your local media and industry appointed communication representative for interviews, photos and/or quotes.

Stage 4: Host field walks

The winner will also host one farm walk on their farm on 12 December 2019 with a high level of support from Rice Extension, SunRice Grower Services and RGA.

Nominations for the 2019 Rice Grower the Year was assessed according to the following criteria:

Judging Criteria and Scorecard

The panel will include three judges - two industry representatives and one independent judge.

The judges will use the selection criteria with a score given on each of the six categories. The criteria (under each category) described in the score card is to act as a guide only and isn’t limited to these criteria.

Note each category has a different weighting.

A) Production and Agronomy (25% weighting)

The criteria used for assessment under this category includes farm yields from this season (C19) and whole grain yields C18 (due to the time lag between delivery and the completion of testing).

 Other key areas of assessment will include:

·        paddock preparation

·        spray programs

·        rotations of crops and chemicals

·        farm management programs, and decision making information/tools utilised within these programs.

B) Water Use Efficiency, Innovation and Technology (25% weighting)

The criteria used for assessment under this category will include

What changes have you made to increase your water use efficiency?

·        changes to your irrigation layouts or infrastructure

·        changes in sowing method and or varieties

·        automation

·        double cropping

 What technology changes have you implemented or adopted? Examples could include precision ag, use of Yield monitor and data, Autosteer, variable rate and section control and NDRE imagery/NDVI imagery.

 What innovation have you tried or developed, such as farm trials/demonstrations?

 C) Business Management (15% weighting)

Business management will be assessed on:

·        interaction with external advisors (agronomists,bank managers etc.)

·        management of staff including professional development (external training, attending field walks)

·        business plans - short and long term plans including physical and financial goals

·        risk management plans and strategies

·        succession plans

D)  Sustainability (25% weighting)

Sustainability will be assessed on:

·        rice stubble management,

·        chemical and fertiliser use, records and storage

·        winter crop stubble management

·        crop and pasture rotations

·        water use, reuse and storage  management

·        native game bird and non-game bird management compliance

·        wildlife corridors and farm wetland-habitat provisions

E) WH&S (5% weighting)

Work health and safety is becoming more of a focus on farms due to the proportionately high rate of accidents and deaths on farms. WH&S will be assessed on the following:

·        relevant certificates needed for operating a farm, such as Chemcert ticket are held

·        training provided and documented for all staff members

·        safety guards and covers installed

·        WH&S plan for the business

F) Industry and community involvement (5% weighting)

List any community (school, sporting groups or special interest groups as well as committee’s etc.) or industry involvement (representation or cooperation).

On Farm Judging Criteria

The judging panel will visit each of the finalists’ farms for a tour and interview of up to two hours duration.

On farm judging will be held in the first week of June 2019. Nominees are encouraged to involve their staff and consultants in the farm tour.

The farm tour will focus on those areas that most directly address the judging criteria and the areas of strength that have been identified in the initial nomination.


The SunRice Grower of the Year Winner receives:

  • An individual award and recognition on industry honour roll

  • $2500 to be spent on personal or business development.

  • One position within the RGA Emerging Leaders Program in 2020 (this can be a member of the family or an employee of the business)

  • Two complimentary tickets to the 2019 RGA Conference dinner and Awards event

  • Member of the 2020 judging panel

  • Nomination for the Australian Farmer of the Year Award (Kondinin Group)

The two runners up will each receive two complimentary tickets to the RGA Conference Dinner and Awards event.

For further information or points of clarification contact Troy Mauger, Extension Coordinator: 0417 375 168 Email:

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About SunRice

SunRice is proud to be a company built by the Australian rice industry over the past 68 years. Through innovation, today we are one of the world’s largest rice food companies and one of Australia’s leading branded food exporters.

With revenue of $1.2 billion and sales, marketing and operations spanning the globe, we supply domestic markets and almost 50 countries with more than 700 diverse, innovative and nutritious food products, from table rice to rice meals and livestock products.

We are a vertically integrated business with state-of-the-art processing, packing and value adding food plants, as well as a dedicated rice research company.

For more information visit