News

Perfect timing for rice grower

Rice-harvesting operator Allan Anderson at the 75-hectare OzRice farm at Woodburn.
Rice-harvesting operator Allan Anderson at the 75-hectare OzRice farm at Woodburn.

RICE is finally thriving as a rotational crop in local sugar cane fields, but for the grower driving the experiment, Tony Carusi, the rain stopped just in time.

"We had to harvest this year," Mr Carusi said.

"Just when the crop was ready the rain stopped and the weather became perfect for the harvest."

Mr Carusi's family has grown cane on the Richmond River at Kilgin, near Woodburn, for three generations.

With soy beans struggling in the wet in lower paddocks, he decided four years ago to try dry land rice in the fallow rotation.

Dry land rice doesn't require irrigation like the major rice-producing areas of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area in southern NSW.

Mr Carusi has made a considerable investment, including the construction of his own mill, but it hasn't all been plain sailing.

He spent five days in China in 2009 looking at different types and sizes of mills.

"They've been growing rice for 4000 years so they know what they're doing," he said.

"We had started growing rice commercially in 2008 but floods decimated the crops and what we did harvest cost $125 a tonne to transport to Leeton to the mill.

"Initially the quality was poor and we were getting only $50 a tonne for the rice as stock feed."

The problems threatened to cripple the venture, but now the sun is shining on the fields, the crop is being harvested and milled locally and there is a growing market.

"We learnt as we went along," Mr Carusi said.

"Now we have 75 hectares of rice and are getting it into local shops and markets within five days of harvest.

"The brown rice we produce is well accepted in the health food market.

"It's pesticide-free and with no irrigation it's environmentally friendly.

"We're now starting to develop packaging, distributing and marketing under our own OzRice brand."

Topics:  lismore, rice




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

'I apologise every day that I am not the person he married'

My battle with postnatal depression...

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

9 things to change on the Northern Rivers on July 1

Electricity bills will increase from July 1.

Prices going up, changes to family benefits, and new laws

Safer to have baby at home: Father gives evidence at inquest

An inquest into the home birth death of a baby at Nimbin is continuing in Lismore.

UPDATE: Couple delayed ultrasound for three months

Chasing down a wicked wowser with a personalised van

The hosts of The Chaser give Sen David Leyonhjelm some of his own medicine

Senator David Leyonhjelm gets own Wicked camper

Latest deals and offers

Preview of $10 million Lismore office block

Bennett Construction director Darryl Piper discusses work on the new four-storey...

Hey Mumma - Working mums vs fulltime mums

Working mums vs full time mums

Hey Mumma - Working mums vs fulltime mums

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?