Arkansas rice growers are getting a bit of a boost from Kellogg's, the Rice Krispies people.
With help from The Nature Conservancy, Kellogg's is supplying 30 farms in the Mississippi Delta with grant money for irrigation timers to fine tune water application on 15,000 acres of land in critical groundwater areas of Arkansas.
In September, Farm Press reported that The Nature Conservancy reached out to growers throughout Arkansas who were interested in participating in the project, which scientists estimate will conserve 9 billion gallons of water annually.
"Our large, leading commitment is supporting a million farmers and workers by the year 2030," said Mary Gallagher, Kellogg Company responsible sourcing manager. "This rice project in Arkansas is one of those projects."
Jason Milks, Delta program director at The Nature Conservancy in Arkansas said that producers have been supportive of conservation practices in their operation, but because of thin profit margins they appreciate the help of initiatives like Kellogg's grant program.
"Rice farmers are in the business of farming," Milks said. "They want to be in the business as long as their families can farm."
He notes that the grant allows them to move forward with more sustainable practices, without the output of cash necessary to purchase and install the timers. It also allows the producers to focus on other things besides managing wells, saving them time and energy.