Here in Northeast Arkansas, it is a common practice to burn rice stubble.
It is a stinky mess around here, once the burning really gets going, and it can take a while as rice is a wet crop, so there is also a lot of smoldering going on.
I have been told that when rice is burned, it emits a silica in the air, akin to fiberglass.
Some of the farmers I have met think that the clouds in the burns are red, due to the iron content in our soil.
I can tell you it stinks, and can aggravate anyone who has respiratory issues.
I have learned that this practice is not necessary, it's just cheaper, than having a tractor make more passes to break up the organic matter.
As a landscape painter, I see rice burning season as the worst time of the year, due mostly to the air quality, which can become quite the irritant.
Last year, as much as I would have rather not been a landscape painter during burning season, I carried on with what I have been doing, setting up and painting on location.
In continuing my work, I found that attempting to paint these smokey scenes opened the door for me to experience more expression and abstraction in my work.
After attending Women in Ag 2016 at Cotton Inc in Raleigh, I learned from others that some states have permit procedures for burning, and some have greater restrictions, unlike Arkansas, which appears to have few to no restrictions on ag burning. I am curious about other burn practices elsewhere across the states. I am also curious if anyone else is out there painting the fires.
Please share your stories and images, we look forward to seeing them!