China produces the most rice in the world and it also consumes the most rice. This high supply and demand is a great way to jumpstart an economy, but they do not seem to be in much need of a jumpstart any time soon. However, a couple of threats may be looming on the horizon of this great market. First, genetic engineering, while helpful for growing pest-free plants and in the agricultural industry, can be harmful to both human health and the health of our environment. One of the primary environmental effects may be a disruption of delicate, but important, ecological systems. Second of all, harsh chemicals are being used enthusiastically, and the result can be dangerous for humans, for external plant life, and for the health of our planet. It is important that organic material be allowed to properly rot and decompose. If it does not, then the buildup can cause problems. Not only can harsh chemicals adversely affect non-targeted crops or vegetation, but they can also preserve harvested or dead plant life and delay the natural decomposition process.
Ancient China used rice duck farming, but it is rising again. This is an old form of sustainable growth. Agriculture could gain a lot from this particular tool. Rice duck farming ducks are raised and live right on the rice paddies and they eat their daily meals from the weeds and the unwanted pests or critters which target the rice. The ducks are very sustainable, since they can be bred for this and can live their whole lives on their rice paddies. They also eliminate the need for both herbicides and pesticides because they eat both weeds and problem insects.
There are some additional minor benefits to having ducks on your rice farm. When they paddle through the water, their webbed feet create bubbles and stir up the water, bringing more oxygen down to the rice, so that they grow stronger and healthier than otherwise. In addition to this, duck droppings are natural and plant and insect based, so they feed the rice paddies in the form of fertilizer. It is sort of like having a small mill which turns all of the rice-eating pests into fertilizer for your paddies!
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