RIDGELAND, MS – American rice farmers faced numerous challenges in 2020, from record rainfall, swollen river basins, a relentless hurricane season for the Gulf of Mexico, unprecedented wildfires in the West, and a global pandemic. Despite these obstacles, rice farmers produced an abundant crop across the six major rice-growing states.
In addition, working together with local U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS) staff, they had a positive impact on more than 88,000 acres through the USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited (DU) Rice Stewardship Program.
This sustainability success story, reinforcing the important relationship between agriculture, responsible water usage methods, and wildlife, is told in the recently released 2020 Rice Stewardship Annual Report
. “Being able to utilize natural resources such as surface water to improve farm operations and improve the area’s water quality benefits everyone,” said Wes Simon, Louisiana rice farmer and Rice Stewardship Program participant.
While 2020 taught many how to adapt to change, one thing remained the same, according to Dean Walls, Arkansas rice farmer. “If it’s good for rice, it is good for ducks. And if it is good for ducks, it is good for all of us.”
to read the 2020 Rice Stewardship Annual Report