Effects of Rice Straw Burning

Topics: Smog, Oxygen, Air pollution Pages: 3 (996 words) Published: March 12, 2013
Rice ( Oryza sativa), the staple food of the Filipinos, is the major crop produced in the country. Philippines being the 8th top rice producer in the world, has 4.5 million hectares of land producing rice yields with an average of 3.59 tons of rice grains per hectare. With such great number, the country has available supply of food source. The enormous amount grains will provide the necessity and needs of the country. However, what happens with the plant body the grain was took off? What do farmers do to the bigger tons of rice straw left? Is burning the most effective and efficient solution? Does it pose any threat on the environment? Open burning of agricultural waste is a common means of disposing crops and wood waste and for clearing land for farming. In rice, the most common way to dispose waste is by in situ burning. Many crops benefit from burning because it is an efficient, effective, and inexpensive method to remove crop residue. It is also an effective means of controlling disease and pest problems. The benefits of rice straw burning include control of the fungal diseases of rice, disposal of rice straw and facilitation of soil tillage and seedbed preparation. It helps to reduce diseases that may occur due to reinfection from inoculum in the straw biomass. Burning is the most labor and cost efficient means of waste disposal. However, the bad effects of such practice had never been studied and analyzed. The lack of knowledge of farmers about the effects and consequences on what they do has left room for further research. First, burning emits large amount of smoke that can cause pollution. Second, pollutants present on smoke affects air circulation and quality. According to a research, the amount of pollutants emitted by rice straw burning depends on the moisture content of the straw, the manner in which the field is burned (heading fire, backing fire, strip-light fire), and the "emission factor" (the pollution emitted per weight unit of the fuel being...
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