A Closer Look at RIPE’s Qualifying Practices: Dry-Seeded Rice
RIPE’s researchers continually work to expand the set of practices that would qualify for a $100 per unit payment under the proposed RIPE100 program by collecting research that demonstrates the combined environmental value of climate-smart practices.
Here we are highlighting dry seeding for rice grown in California or regions south of 1-10. This protocol has been accepted by California’s offset program, which is one of the strictest programs in the world.
Farmers who adopt dry seeding provide significant climate benefits. The practice reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 1 metric ton per acre, but even that significant benefit is only around $22 per acre. However, the practice also delivers nearly $80 in air quality benefits and $8 in water conservation per acre, reaching a total of $109 per acre.
Review our methodology and sources for this practice, which compiles research from USDA, land-grant universities and peer reviewed studies, below. Access our current list of proposed qualifying practices here.
|Ecosystem Service||Value ($/acre/year)||Source|
|Climate Change Mitigation (Methane and N2O Reduction)||$22||Low-end value:|
A 2020 report by the Environmental Defense Fund finds that replacing wet seeding with dry seeding, as approved by California Air Resources Board, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 260,800 tCO2eq/year in the Sacramento Valley. NRCS indicates that 500,000 acres of rice are grown in this region. Therefore, dry seeding provides a GHG mitigation value of .47 metric tons CO2eq/acre. Multiplying this value by $20/metric ton CO2eq equals $10/acre.
Source: Maegan B. Simmonds, et al. Modeling Methane and Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Direct-Seeded Rice Systems. 2015. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2015JG002915
|Water Savings||$8||A 2015 study shows a mean water use reduction of 271.5 fewer cubed meters per acre, or .22 acre-feet/acre, for dry seeded rice compared to wet seeded rice in California.
Linquist et al. Water balances and evapotranspiration in water- and dry-seeded rice systems. Irrigation Science. 2015.
NRCS values water savings at $36/acre-foot in current dollar values. Multiplying the two values equals $8/acre. (California).
USDA – NRCS. Final Benefit-Cost Analysis for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). 2010. https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/16/nrcs143_007976.pdf
|Air Quality (Human Health)||$79||According to the Arkansas Rice Production Handbook, wet seeded rice requires 25% more Nitrogen fertilizer than dry seeded rice.
Jarrod Hardke and Bob Scott. Water Seeded Rice, Arkansas Rice Production Handbook. 2018. https://www.uaex.edu/publications/pdf/mp192/chapter-5.pdf
The handbook provides guidance for N application for dry seeded rice at an average rate of 135 pounds N/acre, or 61.23 kg N/acre. A 25% increase would thus equal 15kg N/acre.
Keeler et al. (2016) found the human health cost of N fertilizer in each county of Minnesota due to NH3 emissions. The average cost in a single county was $4.75/kg of N fertilizer, or $5.24/kg N in 2021USD. Multiplying 15kg N/acre by $5.24/kg = $78.60/acre. https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/10/e1600219