Rice Straw Products Expo 2002 A Success
SACRAMENTO– Nearly 200 participants attended the Rice Straw Products Expo 2002 on July 19. Sponsored in part by the California Air Resources Board (ARB), the Expo was designed to promote new uses for rice straw products.
The Expo showcased straw-based products and a variety of speakers, bringing together farmers, industry, entrepreneurs and other public / private partnerships.
"Our success lies in cooperative partnerships," ARB Chairman Dr. Alan Lloyd said. "Working together, we can shift to rice straw solutions while protecting the public from smoke impacts."
Participants took part in panel discussions on topics such as biofuels, straw harvesting and handling, environmental impacts, building materials and erosion control. In addition, state programs promoting the use of rice straw were highlighted.
Products on Display Included:
- Rice Straw Wattles, Bundles Used for Erosion Control
- Building Materials, Including Straw Bales and Fiberboard
- Packing Materials
- Straw Removal Information
- Animal Feed
"We encourage expanded use of innovative rice straw products; however, it is up to the consumer to close the loop, by choosing a rice straw alternative over conventional non-renewable materials," Lloyd added.
To protect public health, rice straw burning in California has been restricted. Currently, over 500,000 acres of rice is grown in the Sacramento Valley, where the straw is either plowed back into the soil or it is bailed and removed. The California Air Resources Board has worked with farmers, business and other public / private groups to find alternatives to burning rice straw.