BATON ROUGE - January 14, 2015 - As the world's most widely consumed grain, rice sustains about half of the world's population and is a critical dietary staple upon which billions depend. Rice is also critically important to the millions of migratory birds and other wetland wildlife that annually descent upon Louisiana's coastline. In fact, rice agriculture provides nearly 42% of the food available for dabbling ducks on the Gulf Coast. As such, supporting sustainable rice farming is a critical step in ensuring the health of our nation's natural resources and food security.

Under the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) grant, DU and 8 collaborating partners will expand our innovative Rice Stewardship Program in southwest Louisiana as we work to sustain the future of rice agriculture through conservation of water, soil, and wildlife habitat. This funding will work with nearly 30 producers on more than 11,500 acres to address the top resource concerns of water quality, water quantity, and wildlife habitat.

RCPP provides an ideal opportunity for Ducks Unlimited and our partners to accelerate delivery of conservation on working lands. Using science and locally-led conservation committees to identify areas of greatest conservation concern and working within the well-defined success of USDA conservation delivery, this partnership will add more than $1 million to conservation funding in targeted areas. It is a win for the producers, the community, the environment and of course, for the ducks.

Producers in southwest Louisiana can follow the decision making process and be alerted to funding opportunities by contacting their local NRCS office or Ducks Unlimited's Rice Stewardship Program Coordinator Alicia Wiseman.

What's good for rice is good for ducks, and conservation is good for us all.

Collaborating Partners

Avian Events Support Team Field to Market
Gulf Coast Joint Venture Kellogg's Certified Rice Grower Program
Louisiana Rice Growers Association Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry
Louisiana State University - AgCenter RiceTec