Green rice: Collaborations burnish crop’s image

David Bowers photo

It’s been over two decades since growers stopped burning rice stubble after harvest. Now rice is known as ‘The Environmental Crop.’

When California rice farmers were told about 25 years ago that they’d have to find an alternative to burning their rice stubble after harvest, the news was not met with immediate enthusiasm. Borne from this regulatory call, however, was a collaboration between farmers and conservation groups to change practices and a philosophy that earned the California rice industry an enviable moniker.