As per recent information available, it has been reported that the California Air Resources Board has allowed rice growers to earn carbon credits under the Cap-and-Trade program, from companies that need to offset their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, for mitigating the release of GHGs into the atmosphere. It has also been stated that the Cap-and-Trade program keeps the companies from being subjected to regulatory punishment in case of excessive greenhouse gas pollution.
Further, in this matter in California, the growers can receive credit through practices such as dry seeding and early drainage of fields in preparation for harvest. Such growing practices allow for continued use of flooded fields as winter bird habitat, however, it reduces the amount of rice straw left to decompose in the water since decomposition produces gases, as revealed by the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board. In addition, the rice growers receive a credit for each ton of carbon dioxide which has not been released into the atmosphere, and the verified credits can be sold to companies regulated under the Cap-and-Trade program.
Meanwhile, an official from the USA Rice has also observed that, before selling credits to companies, they should be verified by a third party too. Moreover, it has also been indicated that the whole process turns out to be costly for rice growers. According to an AG Professional reports, it has been narrated that helping farmers to implement the necessary practices for the carbon credit program is necessary. Even, in this regard, some experts suggested that crop consultants and agriculture retailers can assist farmers in participating in the program accordingly.