The Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia represents the biosecurity interests of rice producers and the industry. They are members of Plant Health Australia and signatories to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed. Their responsibilities include:

  • biosecurity planning and implementation at the national and farm levels
  • liaising with federal and state governments on trade issues
  • funding and supporting biosecurity initiatives
  • participating in national committees and response efforts in an emergency.

Industry overview

In 2018–19, rice production was valued at $31 million (LVP) with exports valued at $299 million.

The Australian rice industry is predominantly located in the temperate climatic region of the Riverina in southern New South Wales, with a small amount grown in northern New South Wales and an emerging production area in north Queensland and Northern Territory. In the 2019 season in New South Wales, 96 farms produced a total of 54,000 paddy tonnes of rice and in the 2020 season, 99 farms produced 45,000 paddy tonnes, the latter being the second lowest crop in 70 years.

Rice production in Australia is highly variable, reflecting water availability and the prices of alternative crops. Rice is sown from October to December and harvested in March to May in southern New South Wales.

Most of the rice produced in Australia is medium grain rice, the majority of which is exported. Ninety one percent of the 2019 harvest in southern New South Wales was medium or short grain varieties.

The rice industry continues to conduct research into suitable varieties and management techniques to maximise water efficiency and allow production in north Queensland. Strict biosecurity measures have been put in place to ensure that any pests endemic in northern Australia are not spread south to the major rice growing area in New South Wales.

Annual value of rice production, 2007–19

Distribution of rice production by state and territory, 2018–19 (based on LVP)

Rice IBPIndustry Biosecurity Plan for the Rice Industry

Biosecurity planning provides a mechanism for the rice industry, government and other relevant stakeholders to assess current biosecurity practices and future biosecurity needs. Biosecurity planning identifies procedures that can be put in place to reduce the chance of pests reaching our borders or minimise the impact if a pest incursion occurs.

The Industry Biosecurity Plan for the Rice Industry outlines key threats to the industry, risk mitigation plans, identification and categorisation of exotic pests and contingency plans. For a copy, please contact PHA on 02 6215 7700 or email admin@phau.com.au.

Exotic pests (not in Australia)

The following is a list of high priority exotic pests of rice. These pests were identified during the development of the Industry Biosecurity Plan for the Rice Industry in consultation with industry, government and scientists. They have been assessed as high priority pests based on their potential to enter, establish, and spread in Australia (eg environmental factors, host range, vectors) and the cost to industry of control measures.

PHA has a range of fact sheets, contingency plans and diagnostic protocols relevant to these pests. Pest risk review documents are also available for some pests. Please contact PHA on 02 6215 7700 or email admin@phau.com.au for more information.

Endorsed National Diagnostic Protocols are available from the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network webpage.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Golden apple snail Pomacea canaliculata 2 FS CP
Khapra beetle Trogoderma granarium 2 FS FS CP
Ragged stunt virus Rice ragged stunt virus (Oryzavirus)
Rice blast Magnaporthe grisea 2 FS CP DP
Rice grassy stunt virus Rice grassy stunt virus (Tenuivirus)
Rice tungro bacilliform virus Rice tungro bacilliform virus (unassigned)
Rice tungro spherical virus Rice tungro spherical virus (Waikavirus)
Rice water weevil Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus 3 FS CP

Other pests

The following is a list of documents for other exotic pests of the rice industry. Please note that this is not a complete list of pests: rather it includes pests for which documents exist in the Pest Information Document Database.

Some of the documents presented here are not  tailored to the rice industry and are included for information only.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Bakanae Gibberella fujikuroi CP
Cassava spider mite Tetranychus truncatus FS
Kernel smut of rice Tilletia barclayana 3 FS CP
Panicle blight Burkholderia glumae CP
Spotted stem borer Chilo partellus CP
Wheat aphid Sitobion avenae CP