Griffith rice growing has truly entered the future, with low-cost irrigation technologies helping to save water, time and money in equal measure.
Irrigator Chris Morshead has partnered up with friend and Deakin University professor John Hornbuckle to connect up acres of land to monitors and wifi-connected irrigation gates enabling aerobic rice growth.
While rice must usually be ponded, the automated irrigation technologies have allowed Mr Morshead to run aerobic rice - saving between 20 and 30 per cent of his water supply.
While initially skeptical, Mr Morshead said he was surprised at the results he'd gotten - producing over 10 tons in what was a difficult season, well above their expected farm average.
"I was a little bit skeptical about it at first, but it's worked perfectly ... I can start and stop pumps and all my water from the coast which is handy," he said.
"I was told by all and sundry that it wouldn't do 9 ton."
A big benefit for Mr Morshead was the price point, with the entire set-up costing between $150 and $250 per hectare, which has prompted him to get ready to expand it over winter.
"We've got 100 acres, we'll do 700 acres over there at the other farm."
Professor Hornbuckle said it was always good to partner Deakin's research with real-life applications.
"Chris is one of the leading farmers around the district, it's been good to trial it with him and it's got real tangible benefits ... working with guys like Chris helps things happen quickly," he said.
He even showed off that the technology could be paired with smartphones, allowing smart voice-activated assistants like Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa to listen out and control the gates.
"I think this has the potential to be taken up en masse," said Mr Morshead.
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