The Mosaic Company Foundation supports Ducks Unlimited nutrient management program in Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Waterfowl depend on winter-flooded rice fields in all three of the continent

© Ducks Unlimited

Waterfowl depend on winter-flooded rice fields in all three of the continent's most significant wintering areas.

LAFAYETTE, La. – February 22, 2016 – The Mosaic Company Foundation recently committed $600,000 over three years to support on-farm improvements for rice growers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri. Through the USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership, producers in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley will have the opportunity to increase sustainability and profitability on their farms.

As the world's most widely consumed grain, rice sustains about half of the world's population. In addition, rice agriculture provides managed wetland resources for North America's waterfowl population and 32 other at-risk wildlife species.

"Without ricelands, we would be unable to meet the habitat goals of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan," said DU Director of Conservation Innovation Scott Manley. "We are working together with the rice industry and many others to conserve three critical natural resources in North America: working ricelands, water and wetland wildlife. The support of industry leading corporations and foundations, including The Mosaic Company Foundation, demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainability and is critical to our ability to make this level of change happen."

The Mosaic Company Foundation's interest in the program stems from a desire to promote nutrient stewardship at the producer level. On-farm improvements and management practices can greatly reduce the level of nutrients flowing into the Mississippi River. The Rice Stewardship Partnership has a practice list of 21 measures that protect and improve water quality. Many of these practices address nutrient management directly, and many of the others contribute to the management process.

"Rice grown in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley supports the food security needs of families in America and abroad," said Mark Kaplan, Board President of The Mosaic Company Foundation and Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at The Mosaic Company. "Mosaic is pleased to support Ducks Unlimited as they improve nutrient stewardship and water quality practices in the lower Mississippi River Basin."

USA Rice, Ducks Unlimited and more than 40 partners recently secured a $10-million USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's Regional Conservation Partnership Program grant to support the Partnership's efforts. Other key investors in the rice stewardship work include the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Walmart Foundation, The Mosaic Company Foundation, Chevron U.S.A., Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation, Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, RiceTec, BASF, American Rice, Inc. – Riviana Foods, Inc., Farmers Rice Milling Company, Turners Creek & Bombay Hook Farms, and MacDon Industries.

"Even with our Partnership's successes and momentum to date, several needs remain to establish a complete program in sustainability," Manley said. "Mosaic's support will build strength in ongoing advocacy, policy and on-the-ground conservation, and allow us to elevate nutrient management practices and strategies."

About Ducks Unlimited

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.

About The Mosaic Company and The Mosaic Company Foundation

The Mosaic Company is the world's leading producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash, two essential crop nutrients. Driven by its mission to help the world grow the food it needs, Mosaic is committed to working toward improved global food security and protecting critical water resources. The Mosaic Company and The Mosaic Company Foundation make investments in and partner with best-of-class leaders in the focus areas of food, water and local community investments. More information about Mosaic is available at www.mosaicco.com.