Kellogg’s sustainable rice farming pilot yields positive results

A Battle Creek-based breakfast food and snack maker recently shared an update on a new rice farming initiative.

Kellogg Company last week reported early positive results from the pilot year of its InGrained program, a five-year partnership with Lower Mississippi River Basin rice farmers to help reduce their climate impact.

According to Kellogg, the InGrained program in 2022 helped farmers implement climate-smart irrigation practices, which achieved a reduction of more than 1,600 metric tons of greenhouse gases — the equivalent of taking more than 345 gasoline-powered cars off the road for one year.

“Kellogg has established itself as a committed partner to farmers in implementing climate-positive agricultural practices in important crops like rice,” said Steve Cahillane, chair and CEO of Kellogg Company.

Kellogg piloted the program in northeast Louisiana, where much of the rice is used in foods such as Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal and Kellogg’s Rice Krispies treats.

The company worked in collaboration with agricultural greenhouse gas measurement firm Regrow, rice producers, Kellogg supplier Kennedy Rice Mill and agribusiness firm Syngenta.

“Not only are we helping farmers implement new practices on their farms, but farmers are telling us that, just as importantly, the quality of their rice was not affected by the adjusted irrigation practices,” said Stacey Shaw, senior sustainability lead at Syngenta.

Rice production emits several greenhouse gases, most significantly methane. According to World Resources Institute, methane contributes approximately to 1.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cites methane as 25 times more potent than carbon monoxide.

Going forward, Kellogg and its InGrained partners plan to make adjustments as they transition into the second year of the program while ensuring financial and technical support continue to help farmers with these new practices.

Kellogg also said it will explore the possibility of expanding the program to include various regions with different weather patterns and soil types to determine if similar positive impacts are found.

Date: 31-Jan-2023