china rice growing experiment

Les Schaffer godzilla at
Tue Aug 22 07:32:06 MDT 2000


I have the Nature article if anyone wants the details.

les schaffer


Simple Method Found to Vastly Increase Crop Yields


In a stunning new result from what has become one of the largest
agricultural experiments ever, thousands of rice farmers in China have
doubled the yields of their most valuable crop and nearly eliminated
its most devastating disease -- without using chemical treatments or
spending a single extra penny.

Under the direction of an international team of scientists, farmers in
China's Yunnan Province implemented a simple change in their rice
paddies.  Instead of planting the large stands of a single type of
rice, as they typically have done, the farmers planted a mixture of
two different rices. With this one change, growers were able to
radically restrict the incidence of rice blast -- the most important
disease of this most important staple in the world. Within just two
years, farmers were able to abandon the chemical fungicides previously
widely used to fight the disease.

"I wasn't surprised that the system worked but I was surprised that it
worked so well," said Dr.  Christopher Mundt, population biologist at
Oregon State University and the one American-based author on the
study, which was published in the current edition of the journal


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