Helping Farmers While Conserving Wildlife
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Helping Farmers While Conserving Wildlife

April 04, 2017   |   ShareThis

At Mosaic, we’re committed to promoting on-farm best practices that improve nutrient stewardship, conserve wildlife habitat, and help farmers stay productive and profitable. To help us achieve these goals, we partner with Ducks Unlimited, USA Rice, and 40-plus supply chain partners on the Rice Stewardship Partnership in the Mississippi Alluvial Region of the U.S—where rice farming meets migratory flyways.

Helping U.S. Rice Farmers Sustainably Increase Production, Conserve Wildlife Habitats

Rice agriculture in the Southeastern U.S. is well suited for North America’s ducks and other waterbird populations—providing managed wetland habitat and food resources. This region is also where a large majority of rice is grown for U.S. production.

Rice is grown in fields that are continuously flooded with water. These flooded fields have soils that are unsuitable for most crops—but provide exceptional growing conditions for rice. Managing the amount of water on the fields to control flooding and drainage requires extensive work. Often times, farmers pump water into the fields via surface or ground water, and the water level is managed by a drain to provide optimal growing conditions for rice.

Any water that goes on the field must eventually cycle back into the environment. To help ensure any fertilizer applied to a rice field is used by the rice crop and not drained into a river or lake, Ducks Unlimited and Mosaic are working together to educate rice farmers on 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices. By following 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices, rice farmers help improve water quality locally and downstream by capturing crop nutrients that potentially might otherwise enter the Mississippi River.

Mosaic and Ducks Unlimited are in the second year of the partnership. By 2020 over 400,000 rice acres are projected to be enrolled in the Rice Stewardship program. With approximately 3.2 million acres of rice grown in the U.S. today, this represents a large-scale effort.

Through the Rice Stewardship Partnership, Mosaic, Ducks Unlimited, USA Rice, and 40-plus supply chain are helping farmers in the Mississippi Alluvial Region have the opportunity to increase sustainability and profitability on their farms while conserving wildlife habitat.

Learn more about the partnership in this video: