MIA growers have relayed their concerns for the future of irrigated farming as water prices and allocation issues mount.
Widgelli farmers Glen Dal Broi and Peter Soligo say this coupled with the cost of turning out a crop is making business almost unviable, especially when it comes to rice.
Mr Dal Broi said farmers are seriously questioning the government's endeavours around water.
"I can't understand why allocation is so low and prices so high when dams like Burrinjuck, which supplies water to irrigators downstream, is at around 96 per cent capacity," he said.
"Lack of water is affecting the rice industry. Rice should be a million tone a year crop yet I know of growers who are pulling out this season."
Mr Soligo is one of those growers and says the confirmation of an El Nino will add further pressure going forward.
"The cost of farming is expensive enough. I have my daughter working for me and she's really passionate about it, yet even she is beginning to question the financial viability of farming," he said.
"There's so many more stakeholders in water nowadays. It's not just farmers now; people in completely different industries who don't need it have stakes in it," he said.
"As far as protests and rallies go, like the one held outside the minister's office in Sydney recently, I applaud the efforts but there's a feeling the government's mind is made up.
"The issue is going to affect grocery prices - they will no doubt go through the roof as there becomes a shortage of food. I think people will pull out of rice and it's an industry that has been a strong source of income for 80 or more years," Mr Dal Broi said.
NSW Irrigators Council CEO Claire Miller said federal buybacks in the Murray-Darling Basin for another 450 billion litres for South Australia would take at least 85,000 hectares of land out of production.
"At the same time, we were already seeing water prices surge with the prospect of a long, hot, dry summer - and that was before the formal El Nino announcement," she said.
"It's economics 101: less water available at higher cost to farmers means less food grown and higher prices at the checkout.
"The $5.5 million announced for a new NSW Agricultural Commissioner to 'ensure food security' is laughable when the Federal Government plans to remove nearly half the remaining high security water from the state's food bowl," she said.
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