The Northern Territory has not had much luck with growing rice despite many attempts over the years.
Researchers are hoping a native rice variety will turn the tables and soon appear on restaurant plates around the country.
These researchers from the Charles Darwin University claim to have successfully harvested three species of wild rice found in wetlands across the Top End.
The rice has been collected from Wulna-Limilngan country on the Adelaide River and then cultivated in trials in the CDU's Casuarina campus nurseries.
This year a wild rice crop has been grown in demonstration plantings at the NT government's Coastal Plains Research Farm.
Wild harvesting of native rice traditionally starts at the end of the wet season and runs to May.
While cotton is all the rage at the moment as pastoralists look to diversify income with broadacre crops on their cattle country, rice has been tried many times without success.
The most famous failure is Fogg Dam which was part of the Humpty Doo rice project, 70km from Darwin, from about 1956-1964.
Former Prime Minister Harold Holt was involved in developing the rice idea.
Many people over the years have dreamed about creating a food bowl in northern Australia to feed Asia.
The downfall of that first rice project came unexpectedly from above.
Monsoon rain was trapped by dams and rice was successfully grown until huge numbers of magpie geese flew in to enjoy the spoils and ruin the crop. But there many other problems as well.
Today Fogg Dam is visited by more than 100,000 people a year - not to see any rice but to observe a wetland which hosts the world's greatest predator biomass, no place for a cooling swim.
This latest wild rice crop is proving as difficult as those from the past to harvest.
CDU's Dr Penny Wurm blamed machinery breakdown and weather conditions for the problems.
"This is why it's so important to develop agronomic knowledge to cultivate it successfully, and why this harvest is such a major milestone," Dr Wurm said.
MORE READING: Global wheat production not out of the woods yet.
"It's just not viable to rely on collecting native rice for commercial purposes from the field."
Cultivation research on the native rice species in various conditions in continuing.
Dr Sean Bellairs said solutions have been developed to germinate seeds but researchers are working to develop threshing equipment, pest control and finding solutions to basic agronomic issues such as planting density, fertiliser application rates and harvesting techniques.
The Federal government has provided $1.8 million to develop commercially viable native rice as an agri-business.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.