Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory
Project Number: 6010-12000-011-20
Start Date: Oct 01, 2012
End Date: Jul 30, 2016
Organic rice farming may have greater potential for soil carbon (C) sequestration, but may also result in greater greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions because of greater input of organic matter (C is a main component) compared to conventional rice production. Our project will integrate the use of cover crops, organic soil amendments, and choice of cultivar to improve soil quality, reduce losses from disease and increase yield and milling quality. This proposed research will also utilize life cycle assessment (LCA) to help optimize environmental services and the climate change mitigation ability of organic rice farming systems. Information is lacking on the integrated effects on organic rice production practices and their economic and ecological benefits. To accomplish our goals, we will quantify the effects of cover crops, organic soil amendments, and cultivar on rice yield, milling quality, soil quality, soil C sequestration, and GHG emissions in integrated studies conducted in Texas. We conducted a stakeholder survey to prioritize research goals and consulted with an established advisory committee involving growers, millers, consultants, and end-users to guide our research approach and delineate technology transfer programs needed to implement these organic rice systems.