Australian rice farmers are reminded to burn stubble responsibly by some local Council, the Irrigation Research and Extension Committee and irrigation companies, in the ongoing harvest season. Rice Industry Extension Coordinator Mrs. Gae Plunkett said it was important to take all possible steps to minimize the adverse effects of smoke on neighbour and neighbouring townships. Every incident that negatively affects local communities puts your right to burn at risk.“Growers are preparing for the planting of winter crops and many will be burning stubble. We ask them tobe strategic in their burning practice to reduce the adverse effects of stubble smoke on those living nearby,”cautioned Mrs. Plunkett.
Rice growers are asked to be mindful of the impacts that smoke can have on nearby communities and only burn when conditions are appropriate. Stubble burning has been linked to difficulty in breathing and asthma and in severe inversions can result in hospitalisation. “All farmers need to consider the well being of everyone in their regional communities when burning stubble,” said Mrs. Plunkett. She explained that improved understanding of how local wind and air conditions disperse smoke will lead to responsible decisions when burning.“Growers should plan their burning strategy to avoid inappropriate conditions. Monitor prevailing weather conditions and avoid burning late in the day or when there is no wind, as this is when inversion layers are most likely to be present,”she added. “For more information about this tool and alternatives to burning growers should refer to the Responsible Stubble Management fact sheet on the RGA website,” Mrs. Plunkett concluded.