Riverina farmer's amazing invention turns rice to panel-board

FARMING BETTER: John Gorman is set to earn farmers an extra dollar by turning rice stubble into panel-board.

FARMING BETTER: John Gorman is set to earn farmers an extra dollar by turning rice stubble into panel-board.

AS THE old saying goes, when you have lemons make lemonade.

One Riverina rice farmer is using the analogy in an effort to turn agricultural waste into a valuable building product.

Coleambally’s John Gorman’s desire to create agricultural efficiency and put money back into the pockets of farmers led him to his AMPAN invention, aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions through creating a renewable resource to support builders. 

AMPAN transforms rice stubble, which is otherwise burnt in the field after harvest, into environmentally friendly panel-board, allowing farmers to capitalise on what would otherwise be waste.

The product, which has a similar consistency to chipboard, is made by fracturing rice stubble and bonding it at high pressure with a special resin.

“We have an option of making use of the whole crop and harvesting 10-to-12 tonnes of rice stubble and making six-to-eight tonnes of building panel,” Mr Gorman said.

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