Rice Farming Update

On Through Growing Season 2017 Rice Farming Update

Wow March is gone so that means 25 % of the year has blown by.

Planted acres of most crops increased tremendously over the last two to three weeks. The rain on Wednesday, March 29th stopped the tractors in the majority of the area, but not for long. There were reports of tractors running by late Wednesday afternoon. Most of the areas were running very strong, except for the heavier soils by the weekend. Over the weekend the rains were scattered at best. There were some reports of pretty good size hail in Jackson County through south Wharton County.

Most of the corn is planted and emerged with the older corn waist high. That is to an average size person. Majority of the milo is in the ground. Cotton is being planted at a heavy pace with some of the early cotton emerging. Rice acres are 70+% planted. Soybeans are being planted at this time. Overall, the crops look as good as any time in the past.

The USDA came out with its’ planting intentions for 2017. Long grain rice acres will reduce 22% or 533,000 acres. Arkansas will decrease 360,000 acres, while Texas will decrease 29,000 acres or 16 %. In canvasing our customers, we feel our acres will drop close to 25%. Some of the industry leaders are predicting up to a 600,000+ acre decrease in long grain rice acres. The cash market has not reacted to the news of the reduction in acres. Attached you will find USDA’s charts for corn, sorghum, rice, soybeans, and cotton.

Rice Marketing Association had a sale consisting of 65 or so lots today. Manager Rusty Bergstrom reports that the high premium bid for good quality non hybrid was $2.75 and $2.25 for hybrids. The bids for low quality non hybrids came in at $2.04 and $1.77 for hybrids. He mentioned that ARI, Gulf Rice, and Farmers Rice Mill of Lake Charles were the bidders. Farmers Rice did bid on the low quality rice that had not received bids in previous sales. NEWS FLASH, 4/6/17: Gulf Rice has upped their price to $3.00 for good quality rice no matter the variety and $2.80 for low quality.

There are several articles from farmdoc daily, published by The Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign that should be of some interest to you. The articles do not cover rice very extensively, but are very informative. I was trying to summarize them but felt that it would be best if you read them. Here are links to the articles;

ARC-CO and PLC Payments for 2014-2015 Review
Implications for Prospective Grain Stocks
Corn Prices Moving Forward
Corn Trade Concerns as Mexico and US Trade Policy Unfolds

The following is a summary of an article; “UK makes Brexit Official; What are Implications for U.S. Rice? by Michael Klien published in the March 30, 2017 USA Rice The Daily

The “Brexit” may have some impact on the U. S. rice market. The United Kingdom has informed the European Union that it will be withdrawing from the Union. This will be a two-year negotiation between the two parties that will remove the UK from its almost five decade relationship with the Union. The UK will need to establish new relationship with the other members of the EU. The U.S. currently has a 38,000 metric ton tariff quota for milled rice with the EU. The Brexit should not affect that agreement which controls the U. S. access to the EU market. That agreement places duties on our rice while other competitors have very low or non-existent duties. The United Kingdom was the destination of much of the U. S. rice that the E. U. market received. The UK will have to establish its own tariff schedule for imports from all exporting countries once the Brexit is finalized.

As mentioned earlier, the Brexit will take at least two years. The UK is unable to negotiate bilateral agreements while still a member of the EU. The U.S. has exceeded quota of milled rice going to the EU for the last ten years with 55,840 metric tons this past year. That is considerably lower than the 306,000 metric tons in 2005 of which 135,640 metric tons went to the United Kingdom. That was before the Liberty Link problems.

Rice Farmers Coop lost a member, Joe Zalman, Jr., who passed away on Sunday, April 2nd. Joe was very active member of the agriculture community. He was a frequent visitor at the coop coffee room, “the room of knowledge”. He will be greatly missed by all at RFC. He is survived by daughters, Rebecca Zalman, Amy King, Sara Gregory, and son, Jason Zalman. Please keep the Zalman family in your prayers.

Check out this month’s Rice Recipe: Ginger Chicken Stir Fry

Remember when you are eating rice – wear cotton!

Bobby Little

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