Air Quality

Rice Counties approved for Conditional Rice Straw Burning

Rice Counties approved for Conditional Rice Straw Burning

Luis Espino inspecting rice, Photo by Jared Gross

In accordance with the Conditional Rice Straw Burning Program, the Sacramento Valley Agricultural Commissioners must periodically assess the prevailing levels of rice diseases in order for the county air districts to continue considering approval of burn permits.  This process must take place every five years.

We are pleased to report that each of the Agricultural Commissioners has made this certification for all Sacramento Valley counties.  This region-wide certification will last until 2020.  It is important to note that this certification does not represent a permit to burn.  It simply recognizes that the Agricultural Commissioners have technically evaluated recent scientific data on the current state of rice diseases to determine that adequate amounts of disease that qualify rice fields for burning still persist in each county.  Growers who choose to burn still need to go through their air district’s regular permitting processes.

The CRC greatly appreciates the contribution of UC Cooperative Extension’s team of Rice Farm Advisors.  Luis Espino led the charge on this project to work in coordination with us to design and implement a scientific survey project to quantify the prevailing levels of rice diseases in each county during last year’s growing season.  Special thanks to Luis and the whole team of Farm Advisors for their valued partnership on this project.

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New CRC Air Quality Report is released

New CRC Air Quality Report is released

We have completed a new report that chronicles 30 years of air quality improvements in California Rice.  It captures the story of reduced rice straw burning, use of cleaner-burning engines, and improvements in energy consumption to produce rice.  In all, the report tells the story of an 80-90 percent reduction in major air pollutants and a 20 percent reduction in energy use (and related emissions) in this time frame.  READ MORE