ARLINGTON, VA – The U.S. rice industry is rightly proud of its sustainability record, growing more rice on less land with less inputs and without the use of genetically modified plants. You can bet any industry taking a leadership role in sustainability and conservation is not going to be the kind of industry that rests on its laurels. And you would be right.
The industry set aggressive 15-year goals on soil loss, energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and more. Dr. Dustin Harrell, resident director of the Louisiana State University AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, and a member of the team that helped establish the new targets, joins the current episode of The Rice Stuff
podcast to discuss the metrics and what went into them.
“Having a top scientist like Dustin on to explain why he thinks these new goals are difficult but attainable is going to be eye-opening for folks, even if they are well-versed in these issues,” said Dr. Steve Linscombe, a cohost of the podcast and himself an acclaimed rice scientist.
Lydia Holmes, director of sustainability for USA Rice and a show cohost, added how important it is to put the new goals in the context of historical achievements.
“I think every bit of savings, every accomplishment is important, but some people will look at these goals and think they sound low,” said Holmes. “‘Reducing soil loss by eight percent? That’s it?’ Remember, that’s on top of the 28 percent the industry already reduced soil loss between 1980 and 2015. Dustin helps put all of this into perspective.”
New episodes of The Rice Stuff
are published on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month and can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher. All episodes and additional information can be found on the podcast’s dedicated website at thericestuffpodcast.com
. The site includes a “Podcast 101” section on the “About” page for people new to the medium and a means to reach out to the show hosts and guests via the “Talk to Us” button.