|Rice and Ducks|
Rice production in the United States annually provides more than $34 billion in economic activity. Further, it benefits the environment and provides a safe, reliable, wholesome, affordable, and nutritious food for consumers worldwide. American rice farmers have a longstanding commitment to protect and preserve natural resources.
CONSERVATION -- Rice farming is one of the few agricultural activities where a positive impact on the environment is widely recognized
Many species of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles take advantage of the wetland habitat created by rice farmers, making rice a unique agricultural crop. Winter-flooded rice fields lying along critical flyways provide food and cover resources that are vital resting and foraging habitat for migratory and wintering waterfowl.
All of the major rice-production areas in the United States correspond with important areas of waterfowl activity during winter months. Rice-growing areas provide surrogate habitats for hundreds of wildlife species that rely on wetland conditions for species survival, some of which are currently or could be threatened if not for the wetland environments provided by flooded rice fields.
Without rice farming, wetland habitats in the United States would be vastly reduced. A loss of this magnitude would have a disastrous effect on waterfowl, shore birds and a host of other wetland-dependent species. These widely noted environmental benefits accrue not only to wildlife as well as current and future generation of wildlife enthusiasts, but also produce economic benefits that support recreational industries and ultimately, local economies.
Understanding the value of sound agricultural stewardship, the USA Rice Producers' Group appoints rice growers to its Conservation Committee, to advise about conservation policies, programs, and practices. Rice Farmers Recognized for Excellence in Conservation
'WHAT'S GOOD FOR RICE IS GOOD FOR DUCKS'
To learn more about the partnership, please click here.
CONSERVATION IN RICELANDS OF NORTH AMERICA
The Rice Foundation is a separate rice-industry organization that funds research projects to address important industry issues. In December 2008, the Foundation and Ducks Unlimited released the in-depth and scholarly study, Conservation in Ricelands of North America, which compiles and documents the latest scientific knowledge about rice producers' and rice fields' important contributions to wildlife and their habitat. Ducks Unlimited's Dr. Scott Manley edited the study, which the Rice Foundation funded.
The State of the Birds 2014 Report on Private Lands United States of America: landowners can measure their yield not only in bushels..., but also in bluebirds, hawks, and canvasbacks.
“...ricelands support approximately 45% of the North American wintering duck population. Ricelands provide an estimated 60% of all dabbling duck foods in the Central Valley, 35% of all food along the Gulf Coast, and 70% of food in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. These same habitats are also extremely important to shorebirds and other wetland-dependent birds..."