$5M sustainable farming incentive to benefit wildlife

Source: Daily Democrat

SACRAMENTO — Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry pushed, and Gov. Jerry Brown has now signed, AB 2348, which creates the California Winter Rice Habitat Incentive Program.

Supported by $5 million in the 2018-19 Budget, this program will offset the cost of flooding rice fields in the winter, a practice that improves soil health after the growing season and provides critical wetland habitat for birds and other wildlife along California’s Pacific Flyway.

“Researchers at UC Davis told me about the important environmental benefits winter-flooded rice provides,” said Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters. “Flooding rice fields in the winter helps decompose leftover rice straw and waste grain, which offsets open-burring, creates wetland habitat for birds, and can support nurseries for fish. Incentivizing winter-flooding is supported by environmentalists, hunters, and farmers alike.”

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