Rice growers asked to burn stubble responsibly

22 Apr 2014 1:06 PM -

With the rice harvest due to get in to full swing this month, the Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia (RGA) has asked farmers intending to burn stubble at the end of the season to do so responsibly.

RGA Policy Manager, Andrew Bomm, said it was important that growers take all possible steps to minimise the effects of smoke on neighbouring properties and townships.

“During the rice harvest growers will be preparing for planting winter crops and many rice growers will be burning stubble. We ask rice growers to reduce the effects on those living nearby,” Mr Bomm said.

“It’s not ok to inflict smoke from stubble burning on nearby residents. We need to be a responsible industry that cares about the communities in which we live.”

Mr Bomm said that farmers need to understand how local wind and air conditions disperse smoke, and make responsible decisions when burning.

“Growers should plan their burning strategy to avoid inappropriate conditions for burning. This means avoiding burning wet stubble or burning when winds will blow smoke across roads or towards towns.”

“Understanding how to avoid inversion layers is also critical to prevent smoke settling over residents. Growers should monitor prevailing weather conditions, and avoid burning late in the day or where there is no wind, when inversion layers are most likely to be present.”

Mr Bomm indicated that the industry is working hard to improve the stubble management practices of rice growers.

“We’ll be writing to growers in the coming days about responsible burning strategies. This will include information about new tools on the Bureau of Meteorology website to assist in planning stubble burns in the right conditions.”

Due to the bush fire danger period having passed in the rice growing areas, an RFS permit is not required this year. However, growers are still required to do the following: 

1)            Provide suitable firebreaks;

2)            Notify neighbours;

3)            Have firefighting equipment available on-site;

4)            Have a responsible person in attendance while the fire is alight.

                

To obtain a copy of the media release please click here.