• By Lydia Holmes •
Dr. Merle Anders was honored recently as part of Field to Market’s 2020 Trusted Adviser Spotlight Series, recognizing his outstanding leadership in implementing innovative approaches to scale sustainable agriculture. Through his role with the USA Rice/Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership and his work as an independent crop consultant, Anders supports rice farmers across Arkansas in scaling their adoption of sustainable practices to improve sustainability outcomes.
His early research in rice irrigation, fertility management, rotation and tillage have been pivotal in developing recent advances in sustainable rice production practices, particularly alternate wetting and drying and fertility management. Anders couches all his research in economic analyses, which provides a net-profit component, ensuring rice producers have accurate cost versus benefit analyses when implementing new practices.
“The legacy I want to leave behind is a number of farmers that are utilizing sustainable practices and are going to continue to build on those practices,” Anders said.
USA Rice and the Rice Stewardship Partnership are dedicated to connecting farmers with trusted advisers to advance continuous improvements in sustainable outcomes. Anders’s expertise in irrigation management and his way of communicating is invaluable to rice farmers in the Mid-South.
“Dr. Anders not only has the knowledge of an amazing scientist but also has a way of taking scientific information and presenting it in a way that is understandable and relates to the everyday farmer,” said Arkansas farmer Mike Sullivan.
This article first appeared in USA Rice’s “The Daily.”