Through the Ingrain Good initiative, Riceland Foods and its farmer members aim to reduce water usage in rice production by 250 billion gallons by 2025 across its grower footprint in Arkansas and Missouri. As the world’s largest farmer-owned rice milling and marketing cooperative, Riceland Foods and its members plan to achieve this sustainability goal through the promotion, adoption and implementation of efficient irrigation tools and techniques.
Water usage efficiency has been a focal point of the U.S. rice industry for years. According to the USA Rice Federation’s sustainability report, U.S. rice farmers were able to reduce their irrigation water utilization by 52 percent from 1980 to 2015. With Arkansas and Missouri accounting for over half of the U.S. rice crop, Riceland members played a significant role in these reductions. With the data and technology available today, Riceland members will be able to take irrigation efficiency to a whole new level.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ben Noble said Riceland is committed to creating lasting sustainable changes as a cooperative.
“Our rice farmers depend on water. We, as a cooperative, depend on large volumes of rice. We see this as an opportunity to work with our members, not only to achieve our collective goal, but to work with our valued customers to help them achieve their goals, too,” he said. “Setting a water utilization reduction goal offers the unique ability to impact multiple sustainability metrics through various management practices including greenhouse gas emissions, land usage, biodiversity, and more.”
In January 2020, Riceland announced Irrigation Water Management as its inaugural sustainability theme. Over the past eight months, Riceland has partnered with the University of Arkansas, Arkansas Natural Resources Conservation Service and Delta Plastics to promote sustainable irrigation water management throughout the cooperative’s membership, as well as the supply chain.
About Riceland Foods, Inc
Riceland Foods and its family farmers have provided the world with wholesome, nutritious rice since 1921. Grown in the United States, our rice is known for its high quality and versatility, and that’s why Riceland has become a trusted brand around the globe. Riceland is a cooperative, which means we are owned by our 5,500 family farmer members who are also our stockholders and growers. For more information visit: www.riceland.com.