Rice as a Cover Crop in the Everglades

Cindy ZimmermanAudio, Conservation, Cover Crops, CTIC

ctic-14-riceRice has become an environmentally sensible cover crop option for sugarcane growers in the Everglades Agricultural Area.

During the 2014 CTIC Conservation in Action tour last week, we heard about this from the agriculture program leader for the University of Florida Palm Beach County Extension Service, who is aptly named Ron Rice.

“It’s much more than a cover crop, it’s a cover crop that really fits in with the whole philosophy of phosphorus reduction and best management practices that all the growers are implementing,” said Rice.

Dr. Rice says that rice provides two important benefits. First, it serves as a habitat for bird populations. In addition, the rice fields act like mini storm water treatment areas. “Water and phosphorus concentrations that are coming in as irrigation, that phosphorus gets taken up in the rice plant and then the water leaving the rice fields is lower in phosphorus than the irrigation water than brought it in,” he explained.

Learn more in this interview: [wpaudio url=”http://www.zimmcomm.biz/ctic/ctic-14-rice.MP3″ text=”Interview with Ron Rice, University of Florida”]

2014 CTIC Conservation in Action Tour Photo Album