A priority for the rice industry is to better understand greenhouse gas emissions produced from rice growing in Australia. With the support of funding from the Commonwealth Government’s Action on the Ground program, we engaged scientists in the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 rice growing seasons to investigate the extent of our emissions under different management practices.
This three year project aimed to demonstrate on-farm options for temperate Australian rice farmers to lower methane emissions from flooded rice crops by altering water and stubble management, and for subtropical rice growers to use novel slow-release nitrogen fertilisers to reduce nitrous oxide emissions. The project further aimed to demonstrate options to increase soil carbon in temperate flooded rice by modifying stubble management practices.
Emissions of methane and nitrous oxide from Australian rice cultivation systems under current farmer practices were not known, and potential to lower these emissions and enhance soil carbon through changes in farmer practices had not been examined. This project demonstrated how changes in stubble and water management practices could substantially reduce these gas emissions and build soil carbon. To see the report download the PDF here.
The rice industry understands that the agricultural sector has an important role in mitigating the impacts of climate variability. This involves contributing to Australia’s effort to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide. Under schemes to credit emissions reduction activities, there may also be the potential for rice growers to earn income from emissions reducing farming practices.