A study published in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology reveals that by using sprinkler irrigation to grow rice, the concentration of total arsenic found in rice is 50 times lower than rice grown under continuous flood irrigation.
Valley Irrigation has been extensively involved in researching the use of pivot irrigation in growing rice, rather than the traditional field flooding methods, in the U.S. and worldwide. The study quoted took place in Sardinia, Italy, at an experimental field of the University of Sassari.
Arsenic in rice is a growing concern worldwide, especially in the regions where rice is a staple food source, as it is extremely toxic and carcinogenic. Arsenic is naturally occurring in soil and water which can be absorbed by the rice plant, particularly in fields with continuous flooding. As demand for rice increases, a solution to this issue is needed.
Valley Irrigation started the Circles for Rice project in 2008 and has worked with growers worldwide to identify a profitable method to grow rice with center pivot sprinkler irrigation.