Rice-growing experiment will cut water use but subtract from habitat

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California’s rice farmers pride themselves on environmental stewardship, saying theirflooded fields provide habitat for millions of ducks and geese in an era when traditional marshlands have largely disappeared.

Now a giant Yolo County farm controlled by the family of Sacramento land baron Angelo K. Tsakopoulos will test whether it can grow rice with water measured in drops.

Conaway Ranch, a 17,000-acre farm in which the Tsakopoulos family acquired controlling interest in 2010, said Monday it will work with water-use experts from Israel to experiment with drip irrigation on a small portion of its rice fields. The project, aimed at reducing water usage, will start this spring on a 50- to 100-acre test plot.

Read more here: Sacramento Bee, March 21, 2016

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