Wednesday, August 26, 2015

26th August (Wednesday),2015 Daily Exclusvie ORYZA Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Drought May Reduce Indonesia's Paddy Rice Output by 800,000 Tons, Says Official

Aug 25, 2015
On-going drought conditions are expected to reduce Indonesia's 2015 paddy rice production by about 800,000 tons, down from an estimated 75.5 million tons, according to Bloomberg.
The Director General of food crops at the Agriculture Ministry told reporters that about 350,000 hectares of rice fields have been affected due to drought. About 40,000 hectares of cultivated areas
The country's statistics agency is estimating 2015 paddy rice output to reach around 75.55 million tons (around 47.6 million tons, basis milled) in 2015. The government is keen on achieving self-sufficiency in rice production and stop imports over the next few years.
USDA estimates Indonesia to produce around 36.3 million tons of rice, basis milled (around 57.17 million tons, basis paddy), and import around 1.25 million tons of rice in MY 2014-15 (October - September). Some analysts are forecasting imports to reach about 1.6 million tons.
The government of Indonesia has so not imported any rice in this year. In 2014, it imported around 450,000 tons last year.
Global Rice Quotes
August 26th, 2015
Long grain white rice - high quality
Thailand 100% B grade   370-380                ↔
Vietnam 5% broken        325-335                ↔
India 5% broken               360-370                ↔
Pakistan 5% broken        325-335                ↔
Myanmar 5% broken      405-415                ↔
Cambodia 5% broken     425-435                ↔
U.S. 4% broken                 485-495                ↔
Uruguay 5% broken        535-545                ↔
Argentina 5% broken     530-540                ↔
Long grain white rice - low quality
Thailand 25% broken      340-350                ↔
Vietnam 25% broken      315-325                ↔
Pakistan 25% broken      295-305                ↔
Cambodia 25% broken   410-420                ↔
India 25% broken             335-345                ↔
U.S. 15% broken               460-470                ↔
Long grain parboiled rice
Thailand parboiled 100% stxd     365-375                ↔
Pakistan parboiled 5% broken stxd          415-425                ↔
India parboiled 5% broken stxd                 355-365                ↔
U.S. parboiled 4% broken             570-580                ↔
Brazil parboiled 5% broken          545-555                ↔
Uruguay parboiled 5% broken    NQ         ↔
Long grain fragrant rice
Thailand Hommali 92%   835-845                ↔
Vietnam Jasmine             455-465                ↔
India basmati 2% broken              NQ         ↔
Pakistan basmati 2% broken       NQ         ↔
Cambodia Phka Mails     835-845                ↔
Thailand A1 Super            315-325                ↔
Vietnam 100% broken   305-315                ↔
Pakistan 100% broken stxd          280-290                ↔
Cambodia A1 Super        350-360                ↔
India 100% broken stxd                 295-305                ↔
Egypt medium grain brokens      NQ         ↔
U.S. pet food     335-345                ↔
Brazil half grain NQ         ↔
All prices USD per ton, FOB vessel,

Asia Rice Quotes Unchanged Today

Aug 25, 2015
Asia rice sellers kept their quotes mostly unchanged today.                                                                                                                  
5% Broken Rice
Thailand 5% rice is indicated at around $360 - $370 per ton, about $35 per ton premium on Vietnam 5% rice shown at around $325 - $335 per ton. India 5% rice is indicated at around $360 - $370 per ton, about $35 per ton premium on Pakistan 5% rice shown at around $325 - $335 per ton.
25% Broken Rice
Thailand 25% rice is shown at around $340 - $350 per ton, about $25 per ton premium on Vietnam 25% rice shown at around $315- $325 per ton. India 25% rice is indicated at around $335 - $345 per ton, about $40 per ton premium on Pakistan 25% rice shown at around $295 - $305 per ton.
Parboiled Rice
Thailand parboiled rice is indicated at around $365 - $375 per ton. India parboiled rice is indicated at around $355- $365 per ton, about $60 per ton discount to Pakistan parboiled rice was last shown at around $415 - $425 per ton.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
100% Broken Rice
Thailand broken rice, A1 Super, is indicated at around $315 - $325 per ton, about $10 per ton from premium on Vietnam 100% broken rice shown at around $305 - $315 per ton. India's 100% broken rice is shown at around $295 - $305 per ton, about $15 per ton premium on  Pakistan broken sortexed rice shown at around $280 - $290 per ton.

Choosing Right Varieties Can Help Sustain Rice Yields in India Amid El Nino Concerns, Say Experts

Aug 25, 2015
Experts have noted that delayed planting and unevenly distributed rains across the country are likely to hamper the 2015-16 rice production though the on-going kharif rice acreage is ahead of last year as on August 21, 2015, according to local sources.
Total rice planted area stood at around 33.36 million hectares as of August 21, 2015, up about 4% from around 33.21 million hectares planted during the same time last year. However, according to data from the Agriculture Ministry, planting has been lagging from normal acreage (by this time of the year) in the states of Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Odisha by around 5.6%, 19% and 27.5% respectively. Overall, the kharif rice planting area is lagging behind the normal by about 14% from the normal area of around 38.83 million hectares. 
Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast a 16% deficit in the rainfall during the second half (August-September) of the monsoon season (June-September). The weather bureau forecasts August to receive 10% deficit rainfall and a higher deficit in September. The south-west monsoon is deficient by about 10% between June 1 and August 24 due to the El Nino pattern, according to the IMD. 
“Absolute rainfall may look good but distribution and frequency is important since sufficient water availability is important for paddy cultivation," the Director of the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) told local sources. He stated that transplanting has been delayed in several places due to uneven rains though there is no estimate of how much area has been sown late. He noted that in such a situation, choosing right varieties could help sustain yields. Sowing is expected to continue till September 1, 2015.
Experts are not expecting a significant production drop despite deficient rains in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka as excessive rains and consequent increase in acreage may compensate the shortfall. 

Kuwait to Provide $13.6 Million Financial Assistance to Chad Rice Sector

Aug 25, 2015
The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) has signed an agreement with the government of Chad to provide about 4 million Kuwaiti Dinars (around $13.6 million) to help boost rice production in Chad, according to local sources.
The financial assistance from Kuwait will be specifically used to support the Rice Production Development Project in the Plain of Chari-Logone by constructing about 10 water irrigation schemes. The Project aims to help irrigate about 400 hectares of rice land in the Chari-Logone and thereby help increase rice production, improve farmers' incomes as well as support the government's food security strategy.
The loan from the KFAED will cover about 80.3% of the total cost of the project and the remaining shall be borne by the government of Chad, according to local sources. The loan bears an interest rate of 1.5% per annum and has to be repaid in 44 semi-annual instalments.
The KFAED had earlier provided four loans of around 12.3 million Kuwaiti Dinars (around $41.82 million) to the Chad government  to improve agriculture.
Chad's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation and the Deputy Director-General of KFAED reportedly signed the loan agreement.
According to USDA, Chad produced about 114,000 tons of milled rice and imported around 30,000 tons in 2013-14 (October - Spetember) to meet a consumption demand of around 144,000 tons.
 Oryza Afternoon Recap - Chicago Rough Rice Futures Remain Under Pressure as Corn and Wheat Turn Negative
Aug 25, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Nov delivery settled 5.5 cents per cwt (about $1 per ton) lower at $11.625 per cwt (about $256 per ton). The other grains finished the day with mixed results; Soybeans closed about 0.4% higher at $8.7775 per bushel; wheat finished about 1.7% lower at $4.9950 per bushel, and corn finished the day about 0.9% lower at $3.7700 per bushel.
U.S. stocks jumped about 1% or more on Tuesday, attempting a bounce after the Dow's worst three-day point drop in history, as a recovery in oil prices and overnight easing in China helped investor sentiment. The major averages more than halved losses after rebounding in morning trade, with the Dow up only about 200 points after earlier gaining as much as 441 points. The S&P 500 also pared gains to dip in and out of correction territory. However, the gains fell short of recouping Monday's more-than-3.5% plunge and the Dow remains on pace for its biggest monthly percentage loss since February 2009 and the Nasdaq since 2008.
The S&P 500 is on track for its largest percentage loss since May 2010. U.S. stock index futures extended gains after the Chinese central bank announced plans early in the morning ET to cut its one year lending rate to 4.6%, which the People's Bank of China said was provide long-term liquidity and help support the economy. Housing data out Tuesday missed expectations slightly but continued to indicate strength in the market. New home sales figures for July came in at an annual rate at 507,000. The Case-Shiller home price indices for June showing home prices rose less than expected.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded up 345 points, or 2.18%, at 16,216. The S&P 500 traded up 43 points, or 2.25%, at 1,935, with information technology leading all 10 sectors except utilities higher. Consumer discretionary and health care are the only sectors positive year-to-date. The Nasdaq traded up 150 points, or 3.32%, at 4,676. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) gained more than 4 percent. Gold is trading about 1.2% lower, crude oil is seen trading about 1.9% higher, and the U.S. dollar is seen trading about 1.2% higher about  2:45pm Chicago time.
Monday, there were 2,612 contracts traded, up from 2,026 contracts traded on Friday. Open interest – the number of contracts outstanding – on Monday decreased by 33 contracts to 10,794.

Philippines Fixes 2016 Paddy Rice Production Target at 20.09 Million Tons; Imports Not Ruled Out

Aug 25, 2015
The Philippines is aiming to produce about 20.09 million tons of paddy rice in 2016, up about 6.5% from an estimated 18.86 million tons this year, according to Reuters.
The country is likely to miss its target of 20 million tons this year due to extended drought conditions. The Philippine Statistics Agency (PSA) estimates the country's 2015 paddy output at around 18.86 million tons, about 6% below the targeted 20.08 million tons and slightly down from last year's output of 18.97 million tons.
The Food Security Chief told reporters that the government is finalizing plans to buy an additional 250,000 tons of rice before the end of this year.  It is also reviewing the latest production forecast for 2015 to assess the need to import more rice in case the El Niño intensifies.
The Agriculture Secretary hinted at the need for importing rice in the beginning of 2016 to ensure adequate stocks during the lean season (July - September).
The National Food Authority (NFA) has already imported 750,000 tons of rice (200,000 tons from Thailand and 550,000 tons from Vietnam) under government-to-government deals to ensure adequate stocks in the lean season (June – September). It has also allowed the private traders to import 805,200 tons of rice under the WTO minimum access volume (MAV) rule. The NFA is still authorized to import another 250,000 tons in case of adverse weather conditions.

Spanish Paddy and Rice Quotes Remain Stable in First Week of August 2015

Aug 25, 2015
Spanish quotations for both paddy and milled rice remained relatively stable during the week August 3 - August 9, 2015 compared to those in the week July 27 - August 2, 2015, according to data released by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The data shows that Indica paddy in Badajoz grain exchange was firm at 280 euros (about $307) per ton during the two weeks. Indica paddy in Sevilla grain exchange was also firm at 286 euros (about $314) per ton on both weeks.
Japonica paddy in Badajoz grain exchange did not move from 290 euros (about $318) per ton during these two weeks. Japonica paddy in Sevilla grain exchange was firm at 286 euros (about $314) per ton on both weeks.
Milled rice in Tarragona was out at 580 euros (about $636) per ton during both the weeks. Milled rice in Valencia also remained firm at 597 euros (about $655) per ton on both weeks.      

Oryza Overnight Recap – Chicago Rough Rice Futures Little Changed Overnight as US Grains Take Ques From Outside Markets

Aug 25, 2015
Chicago rough rice futures for Sep delivery are currently paused 1.5 cents per cwt (about $0.33 per ton) lower at $11.380 per cwt (about $251 per ton) ahead of floor trading in Chicago. The other grains are seen trading higher ahead of early morning action; soybeans are currently seen trading about 1.5% higher, wheat is listed about 1.3% higher and corn is currently noted about 1.4% higher.
U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply higher open on Tuesday, recovering from the plunge seen in global stocks on Monday as mayhem in Chinese markets and interest rate fears dominated markets. Dow futures briefly rose more than 600 points in premarket trading, implying a 467 point bounce at the open and shrugging off deeper selling in China. Futures extended gains after the Chinese central bank announced plans to cut its one year lending rate to 4.6%, which the People's Bank of China said was provide long-term liquidity and help support the economy.
Equity markets in China fell further in the final hour of trading on Tuesday, with the Shanghai Composite settling below the key 3,000 mark, to end the day down 7.6%.European equities bucked the weakness seen in Asia, trading firmly in the green. The pan-European Stoxx 600 surged over 4%, with French, German and U.K. stocks all up between 3.5 and 4.5%. Basic resources stocks were the key outperformer, shooting around 7% higher. On the data front, there are a flurry of housing market indicators due Tuesday, with the Case-Shiller home price indices for June showing home prices rose less than expected. Gold is currently trading about 0.2% lower, crude oil is seen trading about 3.7% higher,  and the U.S. dollar is currently trading about 0.8% higher at 8:15am Chicago time.

Vietnam Rice Exports to Africa Increase Sharply in First Seven Months of 2015 Due to Low Prices

Aug 25, 2015
Vietnam rice exports to Africa increased about 52% to around 525,896 tons in the first seven months of 2015 from around 345,984 tons exported during the same time last year, local sources quoted the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Sources from the Ministry's Department of told local sources that Vietnam's rice exports to Africa in the first seven months account for about 16% of total rice exports. Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa and Algeria remained major buyers from Africa so far this year, according to the Ministry sources. The increase in exports to African nations is attributed to lower prices of Vietnam rice compared to those of Thailand and India.
Currently Vietnam 25% broken rice is quoted at around $320 per ton compared to Thai 25% and India 25% at around $345 per ton and around $340 per ton respectively. On the other hand, Vietnam 5% broken rice is quoted at around $330 per ton compared to Thai 25% and India 25% at around $360 per ton and around $365 per ton respectively.
The sources also noted that Vietnam exported about 21,419 tons of rice worth $12 million to the U.A.E. during January - July 2015, up about 375 from last year.
Vietnam exported about 3.343 million tons of rice in January 1 - August 13, 2015, down about 22% from about 4.26 million tons of rice exported in first eight months of 2014, according to data from the Vietnam Food Association (VFA). The average rice export price so far in this year stands at about $414 per ton (FOB), down about 4% per ton from about $431 per ton recorded during same last year.

Tourists Can Now Enjoy Exclusive Rice Dishes at 'Rice Trotters' in Paris!

Aug 25, 2015
Star chef, Anthony Boucherm and his friend Laurianne Fertè d'Hoir have recently opened an exclusive rice restaurant called 'Rice Trotters;' in Rue Du Colisée, Paris, according to local sources.

Four different dishes from all the world as well as risotto will be served everyday. The restaurant is basically targeting various international tourists, according to local sources.

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25th August (Tuesday),2015 Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter by Riceplus Magazine

Daily Global Rice E-Newsletter
August 25  ,2015

Vol 5,Issue XIII

Aug ,2015
Vol 5,Issue XIII
Daily Global Rice e-Newsletter

For Blog & News Letter Advertisment contact to write :  Mujahid Ali
Pakistan, Iran eye US$5b trade
Mubarak Zeb Khan
Publication Date : 25-08-2015
Ahead of a high-level technical delegation from Iran, the Ministry of Commerce on Monday explored various avenues to enhance bilateral trade to $5 billion in the next five years after the lifting of international sanctions against Iran.A delegation from Iran will visit Islamabad on August 25 to 26 to revive the trade links.Pakistan has a narrow export basket to Iran because 63 per cent of exports comprised of rice alone.Pakistan’s exports to Iran fell to a low level of $43 million in 2014 from $182 million in 2010.
While Iranian imports fell to $186 million in 2014 from $884 million in 2010.Pakistan signed a preferential trade agreement (PTA) with Iran in 2006. Iran is not willing to convert PTA into a free trade agreement.Tariff concessions were granted to Iran on 309 tariff lines while Pakistan was offered concessions on 338 tariff lines.Major sectors covered under the PTA were rice, fruits, cotton, cotton yarn, pharmaceutical products and cutlery.In April 2015, Pakistan and Iran decided to prepare a five-year plan to enhance bilateral trade to the tune of $5 billion.The visiting delegation will also discuss expansion of PTA.
 Experts predict that payment mechanism normalisation will pave way for diversification of exports to Iran.The meeting held on Monday in the commerce ministry was attended by officials from Federal Board of Revenue, State Bank of Pakistan and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.The meeting discussed the trade complementarity with Iran and decided to actively pursue policies to enhance exports of agricultural products to Iran.$5b-trade-79901.html

Farmers eye El Nino forecast

25 Aug, 2015 04:00 AM
Given concerns about El Nino, some growers won't look to plant dryland cotton
FARMERS are taking into account commodity prices and the season, with many an eye on the El Nino situation, before making a call about their 2015-16 summer crop plan.McGregor Gourlay senior agronomist Scott Rogers, Croppa Creek, said the season around Moree was looking promising with a good moisture profile."There are some areas west of the Newell Highway that aren't looking quite as good as in other parts of the region," Mr Rogers said.Yet he said, generally, the area planted to summer crop would probably be down across the district.

"The summer crop area will probably be back a little bit, with the area planted to sorghum down given strong chickpea prices."Mr Rogers said given the high chickpea prices, the area set aside for a summer crop had instead been planted to chickpeas to take advantage of the strong market.He said dryland cotton was looking to be a popular choice for some farmers, particularly those looking to switch to this crop for weed management, while there should also be some areas planted to mungbeans with growers choosing a quicker option to try and avoid a dry summer.Generally, he said summer crop planting was set to kick off from late August.
"The sorghum plant could possibly be a little bit earlier this year, as a lot of growers are nervous about the long-range forecast," Mr Rogers said."Given concerns about El Nino, some growers won't look to plant dryland cotton."As for last year's summer crop, Mr Rogers said the early planted crops in the district had struggled due to some dry conditions, whereas the later planted crops were able to take advantage of some rain.In the state's south, NorAg Consulting agronomist Mark Norvall, Leeton, said seasonal conditions were pleasing at the moment."The rain has been really good, and is above average compared to this time last year," he said."We are, however, hanging out a little bit for water allocations to be announced - water allocations are still low at this point in time."

Golden Rice: a shining solution, or an impending danger?

Beta-carotene enriched Golden Rice is a much touted humanitarian solution to widespread Vitamin A deficiency in poor countries. But many argue the golden grains are only meant to improve the image of big biotechs.
As the planet's population increases and climate change impacts agricultural production, the big question for many is how to meet global food demand and ensure that food is nutritious in the future. So far, the solutions touted - ranging from intensifying farming to genetically modifying crops - are controversial.In countries such as Brazil and Paraguay, the rise of soybean monocultures has already caused widespread deforestation and displacement of indigenous people - sparking protests. But another crop in the form of genetically-altered rice has been at the center of a raging debate for at least 30 years. It has become a debate over the acceptability of genetically modified foods in general - and passions run high on both sides.
The Philippines is home to both developers and critics of the controversial golden grains
Dubbed "golden rice" by its backers, the yellow-colored rice is enriched with beta-carotene to combat widespread vitamin A deficiency in the developing world. They say it could improve human health and that preventing production is immoral."We call it a crime against humanity," said Patrick Moore, director of Allow Golden Rice Now, a group advocating for the rice's acceptance. "We take a fairly hard approach, because you have two million children dying every year."

UNICEF estimates that vitamin A deficiency affects around 250 million children and that it's the leading cause of preventable childhood blindness in over half of all countries, mainly in Africa and South Asia.Still, on the other side, it's detractors say genetically modifying a staple food - consumed by nearly half the world’s population, according to the International Rice Research Institute- could have untold effects on human health and biodiversity.Masipag, the network for Philippine farmers and scientists, say caution is needed.

“Is Golden Rice food, medicine or both? If it is both, then the health department should be doing safety studies,” said Masipag’s director Chito Medina. “So far only feeding studies have been going on, showing that the Vitamin A is absorbed by the body, but there are no safety data showing whether chemicals may have been produced in the process of genetic engineering.”

Philippines: The theater of war

It is unclear what genetically modified rice means for biodiversity - particularly for the future of other varieties of rice
The Philippines is ground zero for the rice's warring factions. It's the base of theInternational Rice Research Institute (IRRI), which is spearheading the development of golden rice. It's also home to the rice's most fervent opponents. Anti-golden rice activists best expressed this opposition in August 2013 when they destroyed test fields in Pili, Camarines Sur in the west of the country.The destruction of the fields sparked debates within the debate. Golden rice promoters saw the protest as a sign that the activists feared the dangers to human health and environment they had been warning of for so long would prove unfounded - and destroyed the evidence that could prove the contrary.

"On the one hand, they say there hasn't been enough science, enough testing on golden rice and then they trash the science that would show golden rice works," said Moore.To Masipag, however, the test field's destruction made clear that golden rice simply isn't welcome in the Philippines. Medina said the network itself wasn't officially part of the destruction, but some of its members were there in their own capacity. Medina also says that IRRI's logic when it comes to golden rice is faulty.

For IRRI, rice will remain a staple, so what's wrong with making it more nutritious? Masipag and other activists say that's the wrong approach. The safer, more biodiversity-friendly way to combat vitamin deficiency is to provide a more balanced and varied diet, with protein and vegetables. And they say enough beta carotene is found in nature - there’s no need to modify a staple food.

“The orange sweet potato has five times more beta carotene than golden rice. Carrots have twice to three times more,” said Medina. “But vitamin A needs fats in order to be absorbed by the body. That is one of the reasons there is vitamin A deficiency of very poor people - it’s because they can’t afford to buy meat and they don’t have balanced diets.”

Bad for biodiversity?

Just what golden rice may mean for biodiversity, and for the future of native rice varieties is also hotly contested. IRRI says misinformation about the detrimental effects of the genetically-modified grain on existing varieties is contaminating debate."We don't understand, we don’t know where these ideas are coming from. There is no such thing as wiping out the other varieties because rice is a self-pollinating plant," said Bruce Tolentino, IRRI's deputy general. "It's an accusation without scientific basis."

But activists point to an incident in 2006, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture Department said trace amounts of a genetically modified strain of rice known as LibertyLink were found in long-grain rice set for export - apparently after contamination.

"I find it absurd that they use the self-pollination argument, because past experience in China and the US has shown the opposite," said Dirk Zimmermann, a sustainable agriculture campaigner at Greenpeace. "Where they planted the rice in small test fields, it spread wildly onto other production surfaces."Golden rice's cause also isn't helped by the fact that many of the patents for the rice are held by big-name biotechs like Syngenta, Bayer and Monsanto - all of which have been singled out for criticism in the GMO and monoculture debate.

Still, advocates of the rice point out that the biotechs have granted royalty-free access to allow scientists to further develop the rice on a non-profit basis. But many are still worried the introduction of golden rice will end up pushing farmers into industrial monoculture production.

The golden rice debate isn’t going to end anytime soon - partly because the product isn't on the market yet. The IRRI recently reported setbacks on their newest data: right now the rice doesn't produce the same yields as other industrial varieties and can't compete commercially.IRRI’s Tolentino said researchers are working on breeding the rice to address the yield aspect. If they succeed, they will have to apply for a regulatory permit to test the new variety in an open field. Only after that would the seed be registered onto the standard seed regulatory system for the government and private seed growers to use in the market.

“It will take awhile. We’re still only at the breeding stage,” he said. “It can be anywhere from at least two years to five years from today.”But Masipag’s Medina takes little comfort in the wait. He says regulatory approval is likely.“Regulators will tend towards approval, they are in favor of it without really knowing what it is,” he said. “But for us 35,000 MASIPAG farmers, we will be avoiding golden rice consumption. We’ll consume what we grow. It’s sufficient for us.”

Heart smart lamb boost

25 Aug, 2015 02:52 PM
BOOSTING the heart smart properties of lamb may be as simple as supplementing the animal's diet with a small amount of canola or rice bran oil, according to Tasmanian researchers.Ongoing work at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) has been assessing the impact on meat, from feeding sheep pellets with as little as five per cent of polyunsaturated oils.And Victorian and Tasmanian lotfeeders said they would be open to the idea of including oils in sheep feed.TIA associate professor in Animal Science and Genetics, Aduli Malau-Aduli, found feeding sheep supplements like canola, rice bran and flax seed oil produced lamb that was both healthier and tastier.
"The results are very promising and we have found that not only does the meat contain high enough levels of omega-3 fatty acids to deliver health benefits, but that the bad fats, or saturated fats, are also significantly lower in the meat," Associate Professor Malau-Aduli said."Saturated fats are detrimental to human health, hence the increasing interest in the search for meat with high unsaturated fat content and in particular, omega-3 fatty acids that can help combat heart disease and arthritis," Professor Malua-Aduli said.

Victorian and Tasmanian feedlotters were open to the idea of including oils in sheep feed.Rick Edgar, who runs a feedlot at West Cuyuac, Merino Stud Nareen, said he had heard about the trial."I think the eating quality is the big challenge - but I think I would be interested," Mr Edgar said."Would the cost be that big - canola oil in the mix with the pellets ?

"I don't think that would be a major hurdle - five pc is not a massive change, I think it is an easily achieved option."Georgie Burbury, Eastfield, Cressy (Tas) said a feedlot would be the place to try supplementary feeding, if there was a market for the lamb.She said TIA had approached Eastfield, which turned off 4000 lambs a year, to be part of the trial, but it did not fit into their system at the time."It comes down to ration cost and the price of the product at the end."If there is a price for the product, at the other end, then it's a controlled environment, where you can tinker with the ration," Ms Burbury said.Professor Malua-Aduli said the research demonstrated meat from sheep fed polyunsaturated oil supplements contained enough omega-3 to be officially considered a source of dietary omega-3.The meat contained at least 30mg of omega-3 per 100g of product.

"Taste tests results have also been promising with the lamb fed with canola supplements showing superior eating qualities," Associate Professor Malau-Aduli said.Research team member, TIA PhD student Aaron Flakemore's said his goal was to see supermarket lamb with a Heart Foundation Tick sticker."There is quite a bit of diversity between sheep - some sheep convert the oil to unsaturated fats better than others," Mr Flakemore said."So there is potential to start selecting and breeding sheep that are better at making healthy fats."Associate Professor Malau-Aduli will deliver a free public talk in Hobart as part of the University of Tasmania's Research Week at 5.30pm on Wednesday, September 2 at the Brunswick Hotel.
The event will include lamb canapes for guests.

9th International Rice Festival Names Honorees     
CROWLEY, LA--  Honorees at this year's International Rice Festival have been announced ahead of the September 19 Festival Honoree Social and Queen's Ball held here. 
Herbert E. Schilling II of Lafayette, Louisiana has been named Festival Honoree. Schilling is President of the Schilling Distributing Co., Inc. and has served on the prestigious Anheuser-Busch Advisory Panel. Anheuser-Busch is the reported largest single domestic user of U.S. rice. Through Schilling's partnership with Louisiana Rice Mill, L.L.C. he has established a close association with the rice industry and has maintained relationships that began under the tutorship of his father with rice mills in Acadiana.
Jeffery Sylvester of Ville Platte, Louisiana was named Rice Farmer of the Year. A fourth- generation farmer, Sylvester partners with his two brothers to farm 5,500 acres of rice, crawfish, and soybeans. Extremely active in the community and the rice industry, Sylvester is an alum of the Rice Foundation Leadership Class, a past board member of the Louisiana Rice Council, the current president of the Evangeline Parish Rice Growers Association and the Louisiana Rice Growers Association, and a board member of the Louisiana Rice Political Action Committee. Sylvester was also instrumental in the formation of the Central Louisiana Rice Growers Association.
The International Rice Festival announced that Tyler Joseph  Breaux of Iota, Louisiana is the Junior Farmer of the Year. Tyler is 17 years old and the son of Jarrod Allen Breaux and Kim Sittig Breaux. A fourth-generation rice farmer, he and his family farm rice, soybeans, and crawfish.
One of Louisiana's largest and oldest agricultural festivals, the International Rice Festival draws thousands of attendees who travel far and wide to take part in the festivities. The four-day celebration highlights the importance of the rice industry and offers various special events that are rich in tradition. This year's festival will be held October 15-18th here in Crowley.

CME Group/Closing Rough Rice Futures   
CME Group (Prelim):  Closing Rough Rice Futures for August 25
Net Change

September 2015
- $0.050
November 2015
- $0.055
January 2016
- $0.050
March 2016
- $0.045
May 2016
- $0.040
July 2016
- $0.040
September 2016
 - $0.040


Scientists Describe Mechanism of Plant Immunity Against Pathogens

Norwich, UK (Scicasts) — An international team of scientists have described precisely how a plant can sense a pathogen, bringing an unprecedented level of detail to a fundamental hypothesis in plant immunity of relevance to tackling disease in crops.In the mid-20th century, an American scientist named Harold Henry Flor helped explain how certain varieties of plants can fight off some plant killers (pathogens), but not others, with a model called the "gene-for-gene" hypothesis. Seventy years later, an international team of scientists describes precisely how a plant senses a pathogen, bringing an unprecedented level of detail to Flor's model."We know that plants have sensors to detect pathogens but we knew little about how they work," says Professor Banfield from the John Innes Centre (UK).

In a study published in eLife, the team led by Professor Mark Banfield, in collaboration with the Iwate Biotechnology Research Centre (Japan) and The Sainsbury Laboratory (UK), investigated how one sensor protein from rice called Pik binds with AVR-Pik, a protein from the rice blast pathogen. This fungus causes the most devastating disease of rice crops. Using X-ray crystallography facilities at Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire, the team succeeded in imaging the contact points between the plant and pathogen proteins at the molecular level - the first time this has been done for a pair of plant and pathogen proteins that follow the gene-for-gene model.

Dr Abbas Maqbool from the JIC, first author of the study added, "Harold Flor predicted that plant sensors discriminate between different pathogen types, but at the time he had no knowledge of the molecules involved. It is remarkable that his ideas have now crystallized into detailed molecular models."Dr Maqbool, Professor Banfield and colleagues went on to discover that the strength at which the Pik sensor binds with the pathogen AVR-Pik protein correlates with the strength of the plant's response.

 This opens up new avenues for engineering better plant responses against pathogens by building sensors with increased strength of binding to pathogen proteins, and therefore conferring enhanced resistance to disease."Once we understand how these plant sensors detect invading pathogens, we can devise strategies to 'boost' the plant immune system and help protect rice and other important food crops from disease," says Professor Banfield.
Article adapted from a John Innes Centre news release.

Publication: Structural basis of pathogen recognition by an integrated HMA domain in a plant NLR immune receptor.Maqbool, A et al. eLife (August 25, 2015):

Scientists turn oil spill dirt into fertile soil

by Eric Hopton
   AUGUST 25, 2015
Major oil spills are dramatic and deadly, and most occur offshore, hitting hard and understandably grabbing big headlines.But 98 percent of all spills – that’s more than 25,000 a year – are on land. Clean-up costs exceed $10 billion annually and the environmental impact of all that contaminated soil is enormous. What if we could reclaim the poisoned land?

Scientists at Rice University have developed a process known as “pyrolysis” to turn the black oily dirt into good fertile soil. The technique, in which contaminated soil is heated in the absence of oxygen, is fast, energy efficient, and much cheaper than current methods.

The dream becomes reality

The new approach is also much better for the environment than standard incineration techniques for fast remediation, says Pedro Alvarez, professor and chair of Rice’s civil and environmental engineering department.“Our original goal was to speed the response to oil spills, but our aspiration was to turn contaminated soil into fertile soil,” says Alvarez. The professor and his team turned that dream into reality.“Pyrolyzing” the contaminated soil for three hours reduced the amount of petroleum hydrocarbon pollutants to well below regulatory standards. But, as an unexpected bonus, pyrolysis also enhanced the soil’s fertility by turning the remaining carbon into beneficial “char”.“We initially thought we could turn the hydrocarbons into biochar,” Alvarez says. “We turned out to be partly wrong: We didn’t get biochar, but a carbonaceous material that we call char and resembles coke.”

“Biochar is a particle that is separate from the soil’s mineral grains,” says biogeochemist and co-author Caroline Masiello, an associate professor of Earth science.While biochar is itself a particle, the coke-like char appears to coat existing soil particles. “It has an internal physical structure that allows it to hold water and nutrients and provides a home for microbes, but here, we’re not making any of those things. We’re making an organic film that coats the minerals,” explained Masiello.

Growing lettuce from the dead land

By removing toxic pollutants and the hydrophobicity that repels water, as well as retaining some of the carbon and nutrients, Alvarez hoped the reclaimed soil would enhance plant growth.So the researchers went on to test their discovery by successfully growing lettuce in reclaimed soil. “There’s no one plant officially accepted as the standard for testing petroleum toxicity, but lettuce has been accepted by the community as very sensitive to toxins, especially petroleum,” said graduate student Julia Vidonish, the paper’s lead author.

Not just desert sand
“Reclaimed soil may not necessarily be used to grow food, but it certainly could be used for re-greening: planting grass to minimize erosion and to restore vegetation,” Alvarez said.The process takes advantage of existing petroleum chemistry. But the end product is clean. “The Environmental Protection Agency does not classify petroleum coke as hazardous waste,” said chemical engineer and co-author Kyriacos Zygourakis, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering.“We proved we can remove all the bad actors and all the contaminants and at the same time have a final product with agricultural value. We don’t just turn it into desert sand.”
The new paper is published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

PH eyes 6.5 pct rice output growth in 2016, says may buy more

Posted at 08/25/2015 5:41 PM
MANILA - The Philippines aims to increase rice production by as much as 6.5 percent next year after an expected fall in this year's output, with state spending to boost crop yields helping to offset possible losses from the El Nino dry weather condition, a senior official said on Tuesday.Higher domestic output, however, does not mean the Philippines, one of the world's biggest rice importers, will not import the grain any more, with the government finalizing plans to buy an additional 250,000 tonnes before the year ends, Francis Pangilinan, the country's food security chief, told a congressional budget hearing.

The government was reviewing the latest production forecast for 2015 to see if there was a need to buy more before El Nino intensifies further in the last quarter.Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said at the same hearing that the target next year is to harvest as much as 20.09 million tonnes.That compares with the 18.86 million tonnes output that the government statistics agency has projected for this year, below last year's record harvest of 18.97 million tonnes.Alcala said the country will still need to import rice to ensure it has a comfortable buffer stock, especially during the annual lean harvest season that usually starts in July.

Pangilinan, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the budget hearing, said the government's Food Security Council, composed of the country's economic managers, will soon finalize its rice import plans for the rest of the year.The Southeast Asian country expects to miss its 2015 production target after dry weather linked to the El Nino phenomenon, expected to intensify in the last quarter, hurt the first-half harvest.

Pearl Universal Impex invests $100m in rice cultivation

Posted By: Chikodi Okereochaon: August 26, 2015In: BusinessNo Comments

• From left: General Manager, Pearl Universal Impex Ltd, Mr. Nimit Jain; Director, Pearl Universal Impex Ltd, Mr. Pranshu Goel; Governor Bello; Mr. Jain; Consultant and Public Relations Officer to Pearl Universal Impex Ltd, Mr. Jibril Bokani Usman; Agronomist, Mr. Ramanathan Srinivasan; District Head of Luma, Alhaji Isa M. Damisa during the visit.

A major importer of rice in the country, Pearl Universal Impex, has invested over $100million into the cultivation of 7, 500 hectares of rice farm and construction of two rice mills in Niger State.
Receiving Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello at the farms, its Chairman, Mr. Pulkit Jain, said the firm would create 4, 000 direct jobs and 20, 000 indirect jobs through their out grower scheme.
Jain said the company intends to farm rice three times a year on the land.

“We have some challenges, such as the bad road here. But we’re bringing $2 million of our own money to invest in the road, bringing the total of the entire project to $100 million,” he said.Jain explained that the company has been a major importer of rice in the country in the past, with imports of 350,000 metric tonnes of rice yearly, but chose to invest in cultivation and milling of scientifically tested, high yielding varieties of rice in order to achieve the Federal Government’s target of achieving self-sufficiency in rice production.

He added that the company is also about to set up integrated rice mills with parboiling and drying facilities in Borgu and Bida local government areas of the state, each with paddy processing capacity of 150, 000 tons per annum.“We will also support the out grower farmers in Niger State by providing them with technical know-how, improved seeds, fertiliser and pesticides and subsequently procure high quality paddy from them to feed 100 per cent capacity of the rice mills,” he announced.Jain said to underline its commitment, the company last June started a pilot scheme to determine the variety of rice most suitable to the region on a 500 hectares of land in Saminaka, a community situated around Swashi Dam in Borgu Local Government Area of the state.

What's new at India Sweet House? Chinese food

The 34-year-old Indian shop now has three new Indo-Chinese dishes on the menu: fried rice, chili paneer and Manchurian. Shown here are the fried rice and the Manchurian -- which isn't made with chicken, but is vegetarian.
 (Amy Scattergood / Los Angeles Times)
India Sweet House on Pico celebrates its 34th anniversary on Aug. 27.

It’s much the same now as it was then — founder Jagdish (Jack) Chiller is on hand almost every day, offering the same sweets and snacks. But recently, something new was added — Indo-Chinese food. This was the idea of Chiller’s nephew, Sahil (Sam) Chaudhary, a new face in the shop.“I have a lot of young customers coming in. They need something different,” he says.The three new dishes, introduced this summer, are listed on a sign taped to the wall menu. They are fried rice, chili paneer and Manchurian. The recipes are Chaudhary’s. Educated at hotel schools in India, Australia and the United States, he moved here from New Jersey a few months ago. Why Chinese? India and China have a common border and share some ingredients, he said.Today, China is India’s largest trading partner, but the culinary influence began long ago when Chinese migrants settled in India, chiefly around Calcutta (now Kolkata). Chinese food prepared with an Indian touch is immensely popular all over the country and on every level, from street stalls to restaurants in five-star hotels. 

Chicken Manchurian, in a brown sauce with garlic, ginger and soy sauce, is a classic. Because its food is vegetarian, India Sweet House makes Manchurian with vegetables, including cauliflower, cabbage, carrots and bell peppers. These are formed into balls held together with flour and cornstarch and served in a bowl of dark broth seasoned with soy sauce. The mix includes enough jalapeños to make this one spicy dish. Try it spooned over the fried rice, which is vegetarian-style, without meat or eggs but with assorted vegetables. Basmati rice makes it light and flaky.
Chili paneer — cubes of Indian cheese smothered with bell pepper and onion — is slightly sweet as well as spicy, with ground dried chiles from India. If you want to torque it up even more, a shaker of hot, red chili powder is on each table. What you won’t find is a bottle of soy sauce.The condiment bar holds chopped cilantro, onion, green chiles and tamarind and mint chutneys, but these are meant to go with Indian food.For a beverage? Hot tea, of course. And afterward, get a sweet from the display in the counter.
India Sweet House, 5992 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 934-5193.
Daily Dish

Pack to school: What do professional chefs pack for their kids?

Steve Mellon /Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pack to school: What do professional chefs pack for their kids?

Steve Mellon /Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Chef Ling Robinson with a summer roll at her restaurant, Asiatique Thai Bistro.

Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 12:00 pm | Updated: 12:05 pm, Tue Aug 25, 2015.
By Arthi Subramaniam Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Restaurant chefs are like every other parent when it comes to wanting to give their children specially prepared, tasty and healthy school-box lunches. But they have an advantage because of their professional background and access to a variety of foods, and can almost pull off anything when it comes to pleasing their child’s palate.Here’s how they think outside the box for the back-to-school days:Sonja Finn, chef and owner of Dinette in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty, does not favor sugared foods for her 3-year-old son, Miles, but insists on some sort of fruit.What she packs: A pasta with walnut-basil pesto. Sometimes she would pack baked spinach rice, which she makes with basmati rice, onion, spinach and vegetable or chicken stock; or a roasted chicken breast; or some version of a peanut butter sandwich made with no-sugar peanut butter and low-sugar wheat bread. A banana is a must, and so is some sort of a cut fruit like watermelon, strawberries or apricots. Miles’ favorite is matzo balls made by his nana.

Her prep technique: “I make pesto ahead of time and keep it in the freezer. On Sunday night, I cook a pound of pasta and then add the frozen pesto to the hot pasta. I keep stirring until the pesto melts completely, coating the pasta and at the same time cooling it. That way I don’t need to wait for it to cool to pack it away (waiting isn’t an option anyway since it’s already midnight by the time I get around to making the school lunch). I can immediately pack it into individually covered containers and put it in the fridge, and I’m set for the week.” Frozen walnuts will ensure that the pesto will be green, she says.What she won’t pack: “No juice boxes and no yogurt shooters.”From Dinette’s menu: Dinette doesn’t have a lunch menu, and so sometimes Miles gets a slice of cheese pizza that was made the night before. “A lot of Miles’ lunches are prepared at Dinette.

”Her school lunch: “I didn’t take lunch from home. I did school lunch the whole time.”Changes in lunch-box fare: “The convenience foods and prepackaged foods have gotten worse. There is more sugar, more salt and the sizes have gotten bigger.”Bill Fuller is the corporate chef at Big Burrito. He has an 11- and 14-year-old and packs their lunches every day.What he packs: “Either a sandwich, milk (I pack the milk with a small ice pack together in a baggie because my kids hate warm milk), fruit and snack (crackers, chips, etc.) or a thermos of soup or leftovers instead of the sandwich. Occasionally two slices of leftover pizza in place of the thermos of soup/sandwich. If they are sweet, I’ll drop a piece of leftover Halloween candy or some cookies in there.”What he won’t pack: “Nothing that won’t be temperature safe through the course of the day. Not very many sweets. Never soda.”

From Casbah’s menu: “I always sent leftover pastas from Casbah (his restaurant in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside), especially the Ricotta Cavatelli. Both my kids devour that.”His school lunch: “We rarely packed lunches but when we did it was a sandwich, chips/snack, fruit. We usually ate school lunch because my grandmother cooked in the cafeteria. In those days, they actually cooked, so it was my grandmother cooking for us every day in grade school. Also, we got free or reduced lunches throughout school too, and that was hard to pass up.”His lunch box: “I had an ‘Adam-12’ box when I was a little kid.

Also a Spider-Man one, I think. I remember the ‘Adam-12’ one best because I hit Eddie Krauch in the face with it once and got in trouble. We were friends, mostly, but got in a fight that day.”Changes in the lunch-box fare: “Not much in my world. I guess I can afford fresh fruit and my mother couldn’t. A lot of kids bring pre-packaged stuff. My older kid likes to take Ramen noodles occasionally since the middle school cafeteria has a microwave. We never had a microwave!”Ling Robinson, executive chef and owner of Asiatique Thai Bistro in Larimer’s Bakery Square, who has four children and two grandchildren, says it’s important to prepare a different lunch every day for children as they will remember it. “It’s a gift from childhood that creates special memories of how much their mother or father loved them,” she says.What she will pack: Fresh, healthy, non-processed food.

“I always include a protein, fruit and vegetable. I grill chicken or beef or salmon, steam vegetables, thinly slice apples, cut up some carrots, and put it all together in one container with a light dressing using olive oil. For my older boys, who require more calories, I would make a sandwich containing salmon, beef or chicken.”What she won’t pack: “Chips, soft drinks or prepackaged meats.”From Asiatique’s menu: “I would pack foods such as our Summer Roll, which is quick and easy to make, and contains fresh leaf lettuce, cilantro, mint, avocado, tomato and tapioca skin.” She wraps it with chicken or salmon and rice noodles.Her school lunch: “Growing up in Thailand, I would take rice with mixed vegetables and seafood.” She says she was fortunate because her parents insisted on those foods along with fruit. “All kinds of fruits.

”Her lunch box: “My lunch box was a vertical stack of containers —the bottom one had rice, the middle one had steamed vegetables and the top held fresh fruit. I also carried one metal spoon —no plastic spoons. If you had brothers and sisters at the same school, you also carried their lunches in your lunch box. You just added more containers to your stack. It was usually the older child who had to carry it to school.”Changes in the lunch-box fare:

 “Back then, our lunch boxes featured these three different compartments for three food groups. It was easy to open and was safe and secure. Today, everything is taken in Ziploc bags, which are sometimes not so easy for the children to open without spilling on themselves. Also, it’s all about processed fruits and puddings in plastic containers. I do use the safe plastic box containers that are easier to open. My boys and grandchildren would have a hard time carrying the stacked lunch boxes today, so it’s the next best thing.”
You could freeze the Ricotta Cavatelli before adding the sausage and tomatoes.
2 Ricotta Cavatelli (see recipe below)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus oil for pasta water
2 loose Italian sausages (spicy or mild)
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/2 bunch rapini, thinly sliced
1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
3 cups whole Italian canned plum tomatoes with juice
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ cups fresh ricotta (room temperature)
Make Ricotta Cavatelli.
In a 4-quart pot, add salt and oil to water. Bring water to boil before cooking sausage.
Heat a large skillet and add olive oil. Crumble sausage into oil and let it brown, breaking up large chunks with a spatula.
When sausage is browned, add garlic and rapini. Add red pepper flakes, if desired. Stir until rapini is tender.
Roughly crush tomatoes with your hands and add with juice to rapini-sausage mixture.
Put cavatelli in boiling water. Let cook until it floats and then just a minute more.
Strain pasta and add to sausage mixture. Add fresh oregano and toss together. Add seasonings.
Place in a large, shallow pasta bowl. Arrange dabs of ricotta across the surface.
Serve immediately.
For Ricotta Cavatelli
1 pound Lamagna ricotta
3 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
Combine ricotta and eggs in mixer fitted with dough hook. Mix well.
Add flour; mix for about 5 minutes. If dough is sticky, add a little more flour and mix again.
Place dough onto counter. Wrap in plastic and allow to rest at least 30 minutes.
Roll dough out to 1/2-inch thick. Then cut into 3/4-inch strips.
Roll through cavatelli maker onto lightly floured tray. Freeze extra pasta.
— Bill Fuller
It is quick and easy to make.
1 to 2 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/2 ounce olive oil
1 tapioca skin
1 ounce baby spinach
1 ounce brown rice
2 sprigs cilantro
1 ounce shredded carrots
2 slices of cucumber
Thinly slice meat. Wash in salt water; thoroughly rinse.
Pour olive oil in nonstick pan and saute chicken on both sides until done. Let cool; side slice the meat and keep ready for use in summer roll.
Wet tapioca skin and lay flat on clean surface.
Spread spinach on top of tapioca skin. Then top with brown rice, cilantro, carrots, cucumber and sliced chicken.
Tightly roll up tapioca skin.
Slice roll to desired thickness.
Makes approximately 5 pieces.
— Ling Robinson
Any pasta will work for this pesto, but the more fanciful the shape, the better. I recommend having the child pick it out.
1 1/2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 medium cloves garlic
2 1/2 ounces frozen walnuts
6 ounces basil leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound pasta, cooked
In a food processor, pulse cheese, garlic, walnuts, basil, salt and 1/4 cup olive oil until a little chunky. Scrape down sides.
Then running the processor, drizzle in the rest of the oil.
If making ahead of time, pack into a plastic bag or container and freeze.
Add pesto to cooked pasta.
Makes approximately 1 cup.
—Sonja Finn

El Niño event seen worst since 1998 – 25 Aug 2015

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
The Philippines’s government expects nearly all the country’s 81 provinces by end-2015 to feel the brunt of a dry spell from the current El Niño episode that is seen to be the worst since the 1997-1998 event, the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) said 24 Aug.Philippine Statistics Authority data show GDP growth slipping from 5.85% y/y in 1996 to 5.19% y/y in 1997 and then worsening to a 0.58% y/y contraction in 1998.Agriculture Secretary Mr. Alcala told reporters at the sidelines of budget deliberations at the House of Representatives on 18 Aug that his department has asked for more than PHP1bn in additional funds to support El Niño mitigating measures. In his announcement last 20 Aug, DoST assured that the government has been preparing for the worsening El Niño episode that is expected by PAGASA to last until May 16.

Rice output up but PH still needs imports — DA

August 25, 2015
Written by Jester P. Manalastas
Published in Nation
EVEN if the country is already rice sufficient the government still needs to import rice, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.  During a budget hearing, Agriculture Secretary Proseso Alcala reported to the Committee on Appropriations that the country was already 96 percent rice sufficient in 2014, marking an increase from 82 percent in 2010.  In fact, the Philippines was tagged as the world’s fastest rice producer with a production growth rate of  of 4.02 percent from 2010 to 2014 by the 2015 United States Department of Agriculture World Production, Markets and Trade report.   Alcala added that in 2014, the Philippines recorded its historical best production of palay — 18.97 million metric tons.    He likewise boasted that the Philippines bested other countries in production growth rates such as India with 2.97 percent, Vietnam with 2.35 percent, and China with 1.14 percent.“The Philippines also exceeded the world average of 1.39 percent,”  Alcala added.   
However, Alcala admitted that the government still needs to buy imported rice to ensure enough buffer stock, especially during lean months or no rice production during summer months.   Kulang pa tayo sa target natin na 100 percent kaya kailangan pa ding mag-import, para maiwasan natin na pumila ang mga tao para lang makabili ng bigas,” Alcala told the lawmakers.   The DA is also preparing for the adverse effect of the El Niño phenomenon, which the government is expecting to bring worse and long dry spell resulting in lesser rice production. For 2016, the DA proposed a budget of P53.38 billion or a 2 .6 percent increase from this year’s allocation of P52 billion.

Riverina irrigators raise water access concerns through social media

Irrigators in southern New South Wales are turning to social media to drive home their message of local food production.

Some in the Murray Valley feel government policies are restricting their access to irrigation water.They want politicians and the wider public to know about it.The Speak Up campaign, which was launched this month, invites producers to interact with people by sharing personal stories of growing food with irrigation water, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.Deniliquin rice farmer and secretary of West Berriquin Irrigators, Shelley Scoullar, is behind the initiative.She is frustrated at the lack of a water allocation for general security irrigators in the district, despite Dartmouth Dam holding more than 70 per cent of its capacity and Hume Dam being 40 per cent full.

"What we really want to be able to do is trade or lease with the (Commonwealth) Environmental Water Holder the water they've got in surplus so we can use it for productive use," she said."Let's finish off these crops."Mrs Scoullar said the response to the online campaign has been extremely positive.Irrigators involved in the campaign met with the NSW Member for Murray Adrian Piccoli last week to highlight their concerns.

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- Aug 25

Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:29pm IST
Nagpur, Aug 25 Gram prices shot up in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing
Committee (APMC) here on good festival season demand from local traders amid thin arrival from
producing regions. Notable rise on NCDEX, upward trend in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and
enquiries from South-based plants also helped to push up prices, according to sources. 
               *            *              *              *
   * Gram varieties zoomed up in open market on increased buying support from local 
     traders amid weak arrival from producing belts.
   * Tuar varieties continued to go up in open market here on increased demand from 
     local traders amid thin arrival from producing belts. Weak production in this season 
     reports, thin overseas arrival and sharp rise in Madhya Pradesh tuar prices also 
     pushed up this commodities prices.   
   * Moong varieties, Lakhodi dal and Batri dal too zoomed up in open market here on good 
     seasonal demand from local traders amid tight supply from producing belts.     
   * In Akola, Tuar - 9,800-910,100, Tuar dal - 13,800-14,200, Udid at 9,400-9,700, 
     Udid Mogar (clean) - 11,300-11,700, Moong - 7,600-7,800, Moong Mogar 
    (clean) 9,200-9,800, Gram - 4,500-4,800, Gram Super best bold - 6,000-6,0200 
     for 100 kg.
   * Wheat, rice and other commodities remained steady in open market in thin trading 
     activity, according to sources.
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close   
     Gram Auction                   3,900-5,080         3,900-4,970
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                n.a.                8,000-9,800
     Moong Auction                n.a.                6,000-6,400
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Gram Super Best Bold            6,500-6,800        6,200-6,500
     Gram Super Best            n.a.                
     Gram Medium Best            5,900-6,100        5,600-5,800
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Mill Quality            5,800-5,900        5,400-5,700
     Desi gram Raw                4,900-5,000         4,800-4,850
     Gram Filter new            6,200-6,400        6,000-6,200
     Gram Kabuli                6,400-7,500        6,400-7,500
     Gram Pink                6,800-7,000        6,800-7,000
     Tuar Fataka Best             14,300-14,700        14,000-14,100
     Tuar Fataka Medium             13,500-13,900        13,000-13,500
     Tuar Dal Best Phod            12,800-13,200        12,500-12,900
     Tuar Dal Medium phod            12,000-12,600        11,700-12,200
     Tuar Gavarani New             10,300-10,400        9,800-10,000
     Tuar Karnataka             10,700-10,700        10,400-10,500
     Tuar Black                 12,600-12,900           12,400-12,800 
     Masoor dal best            8,600-8,800        8,600-8,800
     Masoor dal medium            8,150-8,450        8,150-8,400
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold               9,600-9,900         9,600-9,800
     Moong Mogar Medium best        8,200-8,800        8,200-8,800
     Moong dal Chilka            8,600-8,800        8,500-8,800
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            8,400-9,200        8,400-9,000
     Udid Mogar Super best (100 INR/KG)    11,700-12,000       11,700-12,000
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    10,600-11,000        10,600-11,000
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        9,400-9,800        9,400-9,800
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        5,100-5,500        4,800-5,500
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)           3,800-4,000         3,500-3,600
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)        3,150-3,350        3,150-3,350
     Watana White (100 INR/KG)        3,100-3,200         3,100-3,200
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    3,300-3,900        3,300-3,900
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,400-1,500        1,400-1,500
     Wheat Mill quality(100 INR/KG)    1,600-1,700        1,600-1,700
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)        1,350-1,550           1,350-1,550
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,250-2,400        2,250-2,400
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)    1,950-2,100        1,950-2,100
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,400-3,700        3,400-3,700
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,750-2,900        2,750-2,900        
     Rice BPT New(100 INR/KG)        2,800-3,000        2,800-3,000
     Rice BPT (100 INR/KG)               3,050-3,300        3,050-3,300
     Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG)        1,700-1,900        1,700-1,900
     Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG)      2,400-2,500        2,400-2,500
     Rice Swarna old (100 INR/KG)      2,700-2,800        2,700-2,800
     Rice HMT new(100 INR/KG)        3,400-3,800        3,400-3,800
     Rice HMT (100 INR/KG)               3,900-4,300        3,900-4,300
     Rice HMT Shriram New(100 INR/KG)    4,300-4,500        4,300-4,500
     Rice HMT Shriram old (100 INR/KG)    4,600-5,100        4,600-5,100     
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    8,000-10,000        8,000-10,000
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    7,000-7,500        7,000-7,500
     Rice Chinnor new (100 INR/KG)    4,500-4,900        4,500-4,900
     Rice Chinnor (100 INR/KG)        5,400-5,700        5,400-5,700
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        2,100-2,350        2,100-2,350
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)        2,400-2,500        2,400-2,500
Maximum temp. 33.4 degree Celsius (92.1 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp.
22.8 degree Celsius (73.0 degree Fahrenheit)
Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a.
Rainfall : nil
FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky. Rains or thunder-showers likely towards evening or night. Maximumand minimum temperature would be around and 34 and 23 degree Celsius respectively.
Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, butincluded in market prices.)

Monsoon: Sept, a washout for India, says Korean agency

A deficient August is likely to be followed by a forgettable September to round off this year’s South-West monsoon when it retreats fully from mainland India in another 35 days.October could spring a nasty surprise in terms of drier than normal weather, according to a long-term forecast issued on Tuesday by the APEC Climate Centre based in Busan, South Korea.

November relief
But November could make an impression with normal rainfall for most of the country with excess rain indicated for some of the fringe areas.And December could turn in a bumper in terms of normal rainfall for the country as a whole even as the extreme southern and western flanks witness excess showers.
The month-wise break-up of expected rain for the four months of September, October, November and December projected by the South Korean forecaster is as follows:

Month-wise outlook
Excess – Odisha, Gangetic West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh
Normal- Chhattisgarh, East Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir,Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Northeast Rajasthan, South Tamil Nadu and Kerala
Deficient – rest of Northwest India and South Peninsula and entire Central India

Normal – South Kerala, South Tamil Nadu,East Rajasthan, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland-Mizoram-Manipur-Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya
Deficient – East India, Northwest India, Central India and South Peninsula

Excess – Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and extreme South Peninsula
Normal – Northwest India, West and South Peninsula
Deficient – Tamil Nadu, South Coastal Andhra Pradesh

Normal – almost the whole country
Excess – South Tamil Nadu, Kerala, entire West Coast including Konkan-Goa and adjoining interior Maharashtra, entire Madhya Pradesh and Vidarbha.
Deficit to stay
The overall rain deficit as a whole was unchanged at 11 per cent on Tuesday but individual figures for the main four geographical divisions have worsened from overnight.Over South Peninsula, the shortfall has reverted to being a crippling 20 per cent while that over the Central Peninsula worsened to 14 per cent.More or less similar is the situation both in North-West India and East and North-East India where the deficits, though still in single figures, have gone up to five per cent and seven per cent respectively.
None of the weather models set great store by a fresh low-pressure area expected to form over North Bay of Bengal in another two days.The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts speculates that the ‘low’ would die out without so much as a whimper.
(This article was published on August 25, 2015
Arkansas Farm Bureau Daily Commodity Report
A comprehensive daily commodity market report for Arkansas agricultural commodities with cash markets, futures and insightful analysis and commentary from Arkansas Farm Bureau commodity analysts.Noteworthy benchmark price levels of interest to farmers and ranchers, as well as long-term commodity market trends which are developing. Daily fundamental market influences and technical factors are noted and discussed.
Cash Bids
New Crop

Riceland Foods

Cash Bids
Stuttgart: - - -
Pendleton: - - -
New Crop
Stuttgart: - - -
Pendleton: - - -

Sep '15
Nov '15
Jan '16
Mar '16
May '16
Jul '16
Aug '16
Sep '16
Nov '16

Soybean Comment

Soybeans were the lone bright spot in the commodity market, as prices recovered today following the overall market higher today. In addition to this support, prices also got a boost from another large export sale for next marketing year, that more than 11 million bushels over the last 2-days. While this is great for the near term, sales for 2015/16 technology remain well below where we would like for them to be. The slow export market will remain a drag on prices and will likely limit gains as long as the export market remains an issue.

Cash Bids
New Crop

Sep '15
Dec '15
Mar '16
May '16
Jul '16
Sep '16
Dec '16
Mar '17
May '17

Wheat Comment

Wheat prices closed lower today, and fell back below support near $5. Continued weak demand and improving supply remains a drag on prices. U.S. wheat exports and domestic demand continue to be disappointing to the market and preventing wheat from being able to hold gains above $5.

Grain Sorghum
Cash Bids
New Crop

Cash Bids
New Crop

Sep '15
Dec '15
Mar '16
May '16
Jul '16
Sep '16
Dec '16
Mar '17
May '17

Corn Comment

Corn prices closed lower today. While outside markets strengthened, corn failed to hold onto yesterday's marginal gains. Last week's crop tour showed mixed results with some of the last big states coming in above last years yields. The market needs additional demand support to help maintain gains, and continue to hold support near $3.63.

Oct '15
Dec '15
Mar '16

Cotton Comment

Cotton futures were sharply lower again today. Growing fears of a global economic slowdown in light of the recent events in China. Outside markets sold off hard as well. December futures continued to retrace the gains charted in reaction to the monthly supply/demand report, completing a 62% retracement. The next support is at the contract low of 61.25.

Long Grain Cash Bids
- - -
- - -
Long Grain New Crop
- - -
- - -

Sep '15
Nov '15
Jan '16
Mar '16
May '16
Jul '16
Sep '16

Rice Comment

Rice futures followed other commodities lower today in reaction to economic news out of China this weekend. Losses in rice weren't as sharp as other commodities, as the market found support yesterday's low. Additional support can be found at the 50% retracement level of the summer's gains at $11.06.


Live Cattle:
Aug '15
Oct '15
Dec '15
Feb '16
Apr '16
Jun '16
Aug '16
Oct '16
Dec '16
Aug '15
Sep '15
Oct '15
Nov '15
Jan '16
Mar '16
Apr '16
May '16

Cattle Comment

Cattle prices weakened again today. While prices tried early on to close the gap left in yesterday market, they failed to do so leaving open the downside potential in live cattle market. While beef prices moved higher again today, they failed to provide enough support to push prices higher as slow movement in cash markets.

Oct '15
Dec '15
Feb '16
Apr '16
May '16
Jun '16
Jul '16
Aug '16
Oct '16

Hog Comment

Shell Eggs

National Turkeys

Delmarva Broilers

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