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Revolutionary New Growing Technique
A new growing method that produces healthier crops for a lower cost could help reduce world hunger
The SRI (System of Rice Intensification) technique—which has recently debuted on U.S. soil—originated in Madagascar in the 1980s. It involves simple changes to conventional crop methods, such as spacing seedlings more widely, and enriching the soil with organic matter to improve structure, nutrient and water holding capacity. It’s mainly been used for increasing the productivity of rice, but more recently other crops.
This process has shown to produce stronger plants that can stand up to storms, drought, diseases and pests better than conventionally grown rice plants. The benefits of SRI have been demonstrated in over 50 countries. They include: 20%-100% or more increased yields, up to a 90% reduction in required seeds, and up to 50% water savings. The first SRI crops to, well, crop up in the United States are in York’s Hudson Valley.
So why does the SRI method seem to work better than the traditional way?
By giving each plant more space, it helps the plants catch more sunlight and a steady stream of fresh air, while giving the roots more room to blossom underground. The final result is a healthier, happier plant that produces more food with less work and less waste. We like the sound of that!
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