Traditional rice growers in southern NSW are considering not growing the crop this season because water has become too expensive.

Prices on the temporary water market have jumped from $35 a megalitre last year to around $70 at the start of sowing.

Darlington Point irrigator Murray Shaw says at that price its not worth putting rice in.

"We looked last year at our rice water use, which went through the roof and a lot of people got caught short," he said.

"We were one of them and had to pay more money than we would have like to have for surface water.

"(It was) nowhere near the price they're asking for at the moment, which is well above the amount we are prepared to pay."

He says for the first time he'll be growing cotton on the farm.

At Coleambally, Ian Sutherland is still going ahead with his rice crop, but won't be sowing a full program this season.

He's also the chairman of the town's Community Demonstration Farm and admits they may not grow rice there.

"We've chosen to water out our winter crops, we've got wheat and canola in.

"We have a paddock set aside for rice, but at this stage there is not enough water to plant that rice crop.

"We will revisit that after the October 15 (water allocation) announcement."

 

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