International Temperate Rice Conference to highlight sustainability of rice industry

 ITRC Media Release   |  

ITRC Media Release

The 2017 International Temperate Rice (ITR) Conference will be bringing the issue of sustainability to the forefront when it is held in Griffith, New South Wales on 6-9 March.
The conference, returning to Australia for the first time in over 20 years, will bring local and international delegates together to hear about the latest research, technology, and innovation in temperate rice production from industry experts, with a particular focus in this year’s program on sustainability, water efficiency, and productivity.

Keynote speaker Dr. Matthew Morell, director general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), says the conference is an opportunity to shape the future direction of the global rice industry, bringing these vital issues into focus. In his keynote address, he will discuss how rice science is contributing to sustainable development goals, highlighting the need for agencies like IRRI to continually evolve to meet the challenges of the next 25 years.

“There is no better time in history to be an agricultural scientist. The global rice sector, for example, is facing tremendous challenges. To meet the world’s demand over the next 25 years we will have to produce about 25% more rice, but this will have to be produced from less land, with less labor, with fewer inputs.” said Dr. Morell. “Regardless, I am optimistic that along with these significant challenges, come incredible opportunities to shape an equitable and sustainable rice sector that can help support a world of nine billion people.”

Dr. Morell, alongside fellow keynote speakers Dr. Steve Linscombe, Professor Melissa Fitzgerald, and Dr. Russell Reinke, will lead the conference program under the theme Tradition, Technology, Productivity – A Balancing Act.

Russell Ford, manager of Rice Research Australia Pty Ltd (RRAPL) and head of the conference organizing committee, says the conference theme was inspired by the growth and development of the industry since it was first held in Yanco NSW in 1994, and that the rice-growing community should use this event to reflect on how much they have achieved.

“In the last 20 years, Australian growers have become world leaders in water use efficiency, production efficiency, and environmental management,” says Mr. Ford. “Having the chance to showcase these achievements to a global audience, and to also gain knowledge from the world-class scientists who will be in attendance, is an incredible opportunity for the Australian rice community to continue improving the future sustainability of our industry.”

Designed to highlight a broad spectrum of the industry, the conference program will feature sessions on breeding, agronomy, biotic stress, and crop protection, as well as precision agriculture, environment, and quality and processing.

A trade exhibition will also feature displays from leading agricultural organizations and institutions, including Dow AgroSciences, SunRice, New Holland, QualySense, Serafin Machinery,
Griffith City Council, and Deakin University. The trade exhibition will be open to the general public from 8:00am – 9:30am on 7 March and to conference delegates at all other times.

“We would love to see members of the Riverina community attending the trade exhibition and taking advantage of this opportunity to see displays and demonstrations from such prominent
industry representatives,” says Mr. Ford.

The ITR Conference is proudly supported by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.  For more information or to register, head to

For media enquiries contact: Natasha Moore, Sauce Communications, 6953 7382

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