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New conservation systems requiring adjustments for farmers: Part III

Arkansas rice farmers using conservation measures to enable them to participate in the carbon credit market if it becomes viable.

For years Mike Sullivan told his employees they had to make sure they kept a flood on his rice fields. So you can imagine the reaction when he began telling them not to turn on the irrigation pump for 10 days.

That’s part of the process Sullivan and his son, Ryan, have undergone in working toward making their farming operation near Burdette, Ark., more sustainable even though it has gotten them some strange reactions from their employees.

Using alternate wetting and drying, a system that allows them to use less water by not keeping their fields fully flooded, could also be one of the keys to helping them benefit from participation in the carbon credit market, the topic of a panel discussion at the Arkansas Rice annual meeting in Stuttgart, Ark.

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