Nuffield Australia 2017 Scholarship winner
Mark Groat, from Beelbangera (near Griffith) in New South Wales, receives a 2017 Nuffield Scholarship in recognition of his work on rice. This award is supported by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation’s (RIRDC) Rice Research Committee.
Mark plans to increase his knowledge and expertise to enable him to be instrumental in the expansion of the rice industry in Australia, in temperate and tropical areas.
He will investigate rice grown under aerobic or non-ponded conditions in both the tropical and temperate zones. In particular, how rice can be included in crop rotation, the challenges of production and agronomy, and importantly, the supply chain logistics necessary to combat the inefficiencies associated with rice production in small areas.
Mark’s research will be pertinent to sustained rice production in the tropics of Australia where water is not necessarily the limiting factor. Mark says the current rice crop in the tropics is around 15,000T, but has an estimated potential of 250,000T.
“Aerobic rice production in the temperate growing areas is a developing trend from both the research and grower level,” Mark says.
“If combined with excellent irrigation layout and new ‘shorter season’ varieties, it opens up a whole new concept of rice production, rotation potential, double cropping, stubble management, and, most importantly, water efficiencies.
“I believe this is the future of rice growing in Australia.”
Mark will use his scholarship to travel to the United States, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, India, South and Central America.
Mark owns and manages a 350-hectare farm that includes 300-hectares of irrigation, which produces rice, winter cereals and sheep. Depending on water allocations and the water market, he grows approximately 100-hectares of rice, and up to 300-hectares of winter crops and pasture. He is also Director of a consulting business which specialises in farm development, layout and water efficiency.
Mark was born in Griffith and is married to Michele. They have four daughters, Emma (21 years old), Molly (18 years old), Sally (16 years old) and Rebecca (14 years old).
Location: Beelbangera, New South Wales
Mobile: 0427 686 966
Returning Scholar presentation:
Mark Groat is sponsored by: