That rice on your plate? It’s connected to climate change. When rice is grown in the traditional way – in a flooded field – it creates a lot of methane, a potent global warming gas.
So the Environmental Defense Fund, a nonprofit, has identified three techniques that reduce methane emissions without hurting productivity.
One. Sow the seeds – then flood fields. Two. Instead of keeping a field flooded, drain the water before adding more. Three, drain fields seven to ten days early.
Since rice farmers anywhere in the U.S. can sell carbon reduction credits into California’s cap-and-trade carbon program, growers using these techniques are earning money for the amount of methane they’ve reduced.
Robert Parkhurst, director of agriculture greenhouse gas markets at the Environmental Defense Fund, says these growing methods can also be applied to rice production in other countries.
Parkhurst: “Everything we learn here can be applied to rice growing regions across the world. We’re actually working with colleagues in India and Vietnam to figure out how to take this to scale there.””Reducing Click To Tweet
Parkhurst is optimistic that this is just the first of many agricultural solutions that can help slow global warming.
Reporting credit: Colleen Pellissier/ChavoBart Digital Media.
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