Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lower levels of arsenic in rice

irrigated rice field

By using pivot irrigation

A report published in the American Chemical Society journal ('Environmental Science & Technology') reveals that the use of center-pivot irrigation to grow rice can reduce the concentration of arsenic in rice. The concentration found is 50 times lower than rice grown under flood irrigation.

At present, many research projects are being carried out about the use of pivot irrigation in growing rice, rather than the traditional field flooding methods, in the United States and worldwide. This particular study took place in Italy.

Consumers are concerned about this matter worldwide, especially in the regions where rice is a staple food source, as it is extremely toxic and carcinogenic. Arsenic is found throughout the environment—in water, air and soil. Human activities also add arsenic to the environment. Rice comes from all over the world and is grown very differently from region to region, which may greatly vary the levels of arsenic within the same kind of product.

Arsenic can be absorbed by the rice plant, particularly in fields with continuous flooding.

As demand for rice increases, a solution to this issue is needed. Growers must identify a profitable method to grow rice with center pivot sprinkler irrigation.

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