In a new report, the San Joaquin Valley Air District has released its latest recommendations for reducing agricultural burning to improve air quality.

The amount of acreage allowed for burning rice stubble would drop from 70% to 25% under the recommendations. Burning weeds along levees and banks would still be allowed, along with prunings for apples, pears and quince fruit. The report also recommends tightening the parameters for burning tree nut prunings and removals from citrus orchards and vineyards.

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The district reviews and refines the policies every five years in a report to the Air Resources Board, which will consider the new provisions in February. Many members of the board favor a complete and immediate ban on all burning. The industry has been racing to develop feasible alternatives for several crops that have been allowed exemptions to the current burning prohibitions.