ducklings swimming among rice plants in flooded paddy

Vermont Farm Takes Agroecology Approach to Producing Rice and Ducks

A feature on Mongabay describes how Vermont farmer Erik Andrus employs principles of agroecology at Boundbrook Farm. After searching for an appropriate crop for the farm’s wet soils, Andrus began growing temperate varieties of rice at commercial scale. Later, the farm added ducks to the mix. The ducks aid in weed control when the rice crop is young, and are removed from the rice fields before harvest time. They can be sold for meat. In the article, Andrus discusses some of the challenges of learning to grow and process rice on a commercial scale in a temperate climate, and how he’s sharing that knowledge with others. He also addresses predation challenges with the ducks, habitat creation, and the adaptations that he’s had to make due to recent drought.