You love rice, everyone loves rice and we need more of it. Growing populations and the impact of the climate crisis on crops raises the stakes of rice cultivation. As a species we need to keep rice cheap, plentiful, and accessible to ensure a stable global food supply. India has stopped exporting rice which means other nations need to step up their exports. In Bali they recently ran an experiment in water rice fields and found ways to reduce water consumption and improving yields. This is a good finding for such a popular food.
The results at the end of the first harvest were astounding, the researchers say. They found that in the drained field, the release of GHG had dropped by 70%, and the farmer who owned the demonstration plot saw his crop yield in the drained field rise by more than 20%. The researchers knew why the methane had been reduced, but initially they couldn’t work out why the crop was so bountiful. Then Lansing reflected on a study he’d carried out in 2005 on the impacts of fertilizer runoff on coral reefs. By draining the field, he concluded, the fertilizer remained in soil rather than being washed into the river system.