Stubble management for everyones benefit

What to do with rice stubble? The ongoing dilemma for rice growers. Big stubbles are good news in as much they support high yielding crops—especially when it comes to rice. However, after harvest is over, a big stubble can be a big problem.

Rice crops produce a significant amount of stubble. A rice crop yielding 12 t/ha of grain will have 15 t/ha of straw, which provides many challenges. Burning stubble is a quick x with minimal cost and enables good establishment of the following crop. However, stubble smoke can impact on third parties and burning is perceived to be detrimental to the environment. Nutrients and organic matter are also lost from the system.

The cost of using a stubble management option other than burning involves justifying that significant extra cost, due to the machine operations associated with alternatives. 

Daryl Gibbs & Ian Braithwaite, IREC Farmers’ Newsletter – Large Area No. 188: Autumn 2013