A Japanese farmer who’s seen huge success by raising ducks among his rice paddies is coming to Iowa State University today to share his experiences. Fred Kirschenmann, director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, says the ducks on this man’s land control weeds, insects and snails and helped dramatically increase his yield.On a five-acre farm in Japan, he’s producing annually seven tons of rice, three hundred ducks, four-thousand ducklings, hundreds of eggs and enough vegetables to feed one-hundred people. Kirschenmann says there’s little market for rice and ducks in Iowa and he’s not proposing Iowa farmers turn pigs loose in their cornfields. He’s just trying to get producers here to think about what they do from a different angle.Takao Furuno has helped ten thousand farmers in Japan start using his system and has traveled to many other countries spreading the word of his success. Kirschenmann says farmers in Mexico are using chickens in some of their fields to reduce the insect population. Kirschenmann hopes Furuno’s visit will serve as an inspiration to Iowa growers.The seminar is slated for at 2 p-m at I-S-U’s Agronomy Hall.
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