The Environmental Champions Program (ECP) is an innovative voluntary program designed by farmers, for farmers to help improve on-farm environmental management and deliver on the industry’s environmental goals.

Designed specifically for rice based farming systems, the ECP was developed in collective agreement with growers, industry, local NRM groups, irrigation companies and the Australian Government. It aims to assist rice growers improve both the environmental and economic performance of their farms, which in turn contributes to the social fabric of our communities. The ECP does this by facilitating grower to grower learning opportunities and recognition of achievement through a five level accreditation program.

With NSW DPI agronomists no longer providing production advice to farmers in our region, the ECP will be integrated within the rice industry’s levy funded extension framework. Levy funds have been invested to update and streamline the delivery of the program, so growers will receive environmental management information as part of the industry’s broader production advisory service.

The rice industry delivers a range of government funded environmental projects through the ECP network. Recently, these have included projects on stubble management, on-farm soil testing, measuring greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging biodiversity in the home paddock, and protecting the endangered Australasian Bittern. More information about these projects can be found here:

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