Friday, May 20, 2016

19th May,2016 daily global regional and local rice enewsletter by riceplus magazine

18th May,2016 daily global regional and local rice enewsletter by riceplus magazine

20th May,2016 daily global regional and local rice enewsletter by riceplus magazine



Iran, Pakistan seal MoU on Zahedan-Quetta train

News ID: 3662096 -
TEHRAN, May 18 (MNA) – Iran and Pakistan have inked an MoU aiming to develop trade relations via Quetta-Zahedan railroad. In a ceremony in presence of Iranian and Pakistani officials on Tuesday, Director general of Southeast Railways Seyed Mostafa Davoudi, who has travelled to Quetta as the provincial capital of Baluchistan in Pakistan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) over Quetta-Zahedan train which will ply on the 750-km railroad once a week.In his visit to Baluchistan of Pakistan, Davoudi also met and talked with the head and members of Quetta’s chamber of commerce
According to the newly-signed MoU, the two sides have agreed to launch freight train service between Quetta and Zahedan on a regular basis in order to escalate trade cooperation between Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan and Pakistan’s Balochistan provinces as well as between the two countries.
The Iranian official stressed during the meeting that establishment of regular cargo train between the two neighboring states would enhance bilateral trade and economic cooperation.Davoudi stressed that the new railway connection is not restricted to two bordering provinces; rather, it marks a good platform for businessmen from all over the country to run safe and inexpensive transport of products.He added that according to another MoU it was agreed that railway transportation in this route receives 10 to 30 percent price discount.A freight train carrying rice from Pakistan had recently left for Iran’s Zahedan while the train will also be capable of transporting fuel from Iran to Pakistan once tankers are available.Quetta is located in Pakistan's Baluchistan province while Zahedan is the capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province in southeast of Iran

Support for Rice Industry Paying Off

Khmer Times/May Kunmakara

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, has been helping finance Cambodia’s rice industry and from 2012 to 2015 has provided more than $140 million for the development of the industry since the rice policy was released by the government to boost exports to one million tons of milled rice.IFC on Wednesday released the results of the IFC’s Rice Sector Support Program, co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), over rice projects in Cambodia.

So far IFC has directly facilitated more than $140 million worth of Cambodian rice exports, of which more than 50 percent involved the high-value fragrant rice. With IFC support, 11 rice mills have obtained Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification.The IFC has also provided training to hundreds of rice millers and re-processors to improve operational efficiency and quality control. In addition, IFC has helped more than 34,000 farmers in eight provinces learn about the latest farming techniques and adopt improved fragrant rice seeds, it said.

 “Today, IFC and the CRF (Cambodia Rice Federation) are hosting a knowledge sharing workshop to exchange ideas with government representatives, private sector stakeholders and development partners. Attendees will learn about IFC’s key lessons and achievements in the last five years and discuss the sector’s next steps including its current challenges, and ways to increase competiveness,” it said.Sok Puthyvuth, the president of the CRF, said Cambodia’s formal milled rice exports have significantly increased in the last five years, from approximately 100,000 metric tons in 2010 to 530,000 in 2015.“Thanks to support from IFC, our development partners and the government, we look forward to Cambodia’s rice sector advancing to the next level,” he said.

Kyle Kelhofer, the IFC Country Manager for Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Vietnam, said that rice production, processing and marketing are estimated to employ more than 20 percent of the Cambodian population, further proving the sector’s positive impact on job creation and income growth.

“IFC seeks to add value to every step in the supply chain with interventions on farming, milling and exporting levels so that the country can better integrate into the regional and global economies,” said he said.  Since 2010, the Cambodian rice industry has developed rapidly. To improve global market accessibility, the country developed its first international rice standards.Leading mills have also been encouraged to obtain food safety and quality management certifications from international regulators. Such progress has helped Cambodia achieve international acclaim, winning the World’s Best Rice awards for three consecutive years from 2012 to 2014.

Rice Prices Surge as Thailand’s Drought Worsens

Rice Prices Surge as Thailand’s Drought Worsens
Crab Fried Rice – Fried rice thai style Asia Thailand.
BANGKOK: — Thailand’s rice prices have hit a two-year high following anticipation of lower supply due to increasing drought conditions that have plagued Thailand this year. Honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, Chookiat Ophaswongse, stated, “Prices for all types of rice have risen.”
Prices have risen significantly even from last month’s prices, according to the association. Glutinous rice is up to US$900 a ton, up from US$867 last month. White rice prices have risen to US$424 a ton, up from US$397 in April.
Hom Mali rice prices have remained stable over the last month, at US$795 a ton. The free-on-board export price of Hom Mali rice and higher demand for the rice from China caused Thai farmers to shift much of their production to the staple. Demand for Hom Mali rose in Indonesia and Malaysia, too. The surge in demand for Hom Mali has caused domestic production for glutinous rice to drop.Full story:

Commerce Ministry may hold fourth rice auction

The Nation May 19, 2016 5:12 pm
With good response to the recent rice bidding and strong demand in the market, the Commerce Ministry is considering holding the fourth round of rice auctions next month.
The aim is to clear out the government's stockpiles while serving demand amid the low supplies in the market.Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said Thursday that the ministry will gradually release rice from its stocks via bidding.
The fourth round is expected to be for possibly about a million tonnes, she said


Asia Rice-Dry weather boosts export prices

CommoditiesMay 18, 2016 15:51
Thai 5 pct broken prices hit two-year high
* Vietnam's 5 pct broken rice at one-month high
* Philippines to ban rice imports by private traders
By Ho Binh Minh
HANOI, May 18 (Reuters) - Thai rice prices surged this week to a two-year high as drought cut output in Asia's top growers, which also boosted Vietnamese grain prices and kept buying demand thin, traders said on Wednesday.Prices in Thailand, the world's second biggest rice exporter after India, hit their highest level since May 2014, ahead of the government's plan to reduce its massive stockpiles. situation is due to drought, lesser output, and many crops were unable to grow," said Kiattisak Kallayasirivat, a Bangkok-based director at Ascend Commodities-SA.
"It is almost mid-year now, so the demand has arrived, but with fewer supply or shipments arriving, millers and exporters are rushing to buy rice," he told Reuters.
This week, Thai 5-percent broken rice RI-THBKN5-P1 rose to $418-$420 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, the highest since May 11, 2014, from $398-$400 a tonne a week ago. RICE/ASIA1
Kiattisak sees the price rising to $500 a tonne over the next two months.
Despite the price hike, small orders were coming in while exporters have kept stocks ready for loading, another rice trader said.Thai rice meant for exports, using old-crop grain, is still being offered at a discount of around $20 a tonne to Vietnamese rice of the same grade, making it more competitive, traders in Vietnam said.
"Prices in Vietnam have risen a bit in line with higher prices in the region, while there is no fresh buying demand," said a trader at a foreign firm in Ho Chi Minh City.Demand in Southeast Asia will also ease as the new Philippine administration will bar private traders from importing rice, traders in Vietnam said. remained thin as harvesting of the summer-autumn crop in Vietnam's Mekong Delta will begin in July, while stocks of the better-quality winter-spring rice have thinned, traders said.Vietnam's 5-percent broken rice, using winter-spring grain, rose to $380-$385 a tonne, FOB Saigon Port for outright shipment, while the grade also stood at $370-$375 a tonne for July/August loading, with the new summer-autumn grain blended.At $385 a tonne, the price is the highest since April 20, according to Thomson Reuters data.Last week, the grade stood at $370-$375 a tonne.
"African buyers are not looking at Vietnamese rice because of its high price, while they may prefer Indian or Pakistani grain," another trader in Ho Chi Minh City said

PNC Chairman says rice importers controlling politicians

Bernard Mornah has stated that rice importers and owners of other businesses in the country sponsor politicians, making it impossible to implement certain policies when the politicians are voted into office.
·         Published: 19.05.2016
·         David Mawuli
playBernard Mornah

National Chairman of the People's National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah has stated that rice importers and owners of other businesses in the country sponsor politicians, making it impossible to implement certain policies when the politicians are voted into office.

Mornah argued Class FM on Tuesday, May 17 that the practice was detrimental to the country’s democracy to the extent that politicians were controlled by external forces.
He further stated that policies that will improve the lives of Ghanaian citizens are scrapped in order to please the sponsors of the politicians and it was time the practice came to an end.
“Do you know why we cannot stop rice importation in this country? Because those who are importing rice are financing political parties. So you will think that when you win elections you would want to come and put in policies that you produce the rice domestically, but what do you want them to do? That is where they got their money from to be able to finance you,” Mornah said.
“In 2003 thereabouts, [there was] Act 699 – which was on importation of rice and poultry in this country – increasing import duty, which means you are making imported chicken and rice expensive. What that would do is that it will boost domestic production and encourage farmers. The then Minister of Finance, Osafo Marfo, after the Poultry Farmers Association took the matter to court that it was not being implemented and they were suffering losses, went to parliament to seek the revocation of that law. In effect, those who are importing chicken will benefit. Those producing chicken in Ghana suffered a loss,” he continued.

He also blamed such actions on rent-seeking, which leads to the detriment of citizens.

“You can talk about anything, but those who are running the economy are the businesses and they will support the political parties. You do not ask them where they get their monies. When you win elections and now you want to implement your policies that will make the Ghanaian economy survive, then they will say: ‘Chief’ [and come at you],” he explained.
He added: “We [Ghanaians] are not taking our democracy into our own hands. The Electoral Commission has to look for donors before we can conduct our own elections, so who is controlling your democracy?”

State's rice planters beat clock
96% of crop in ground after wet weather in ’15 cut into yield
By Claire Williams 
This article was published today at 2:09 a.m.


Two farmers harvest rice in September near Stuttgart. Last year, Arkansas farmers planted about 1.39 million acres of rice and a planting of 1.7 million acres is expected this year.
CommentsaAFont Size
Arkansas farmers are ahead of their rice-planting schedule -- a year after wet weather meant low rice yields.
About 96 percent of the state's planned rice acreage was planted as of mid-May, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System's Agriculture Division, said some farmers have purchased more rice and planted more rice acreage.

"The midseason weather has to cooperate, of course, but in the grand scheme of things, the majority of acreage being planted this early would suggest that the table is set for a very positive year," he said. "Our production could be very high this year."

Rice is an important crop for the state, ranking first in the country for rice production. Arkansas produces about half of the country's rice every year, according to the Arkansas Farm Bureau. About 60 percent of that rice is exported.

Hardke said that last year Arkansas farmers planted about 1.39 million acres of rice. This year he is predicting as many as 1.7 million acres.

"If we hit 1.7 million acres, it would be the second-largest rice acreage we've ever had in the state," he said. The largest was in 2010 at 1.785 million acres.

Joe Christian, a rice farmer who lives near Jonesboro and the Arkansas Farm Bureau's chairman of rice commodity division, said last year's rain meant he couldn't get all his rice planted.

He planted 1,400 acres last year. This year he has about 1,600 acres planted. He finished planting rice last week and is now working on soybeans.

"There's a lot of rice farmers, including me, that are struggling," he said. "We can't afford another low yield year."

Rice, like other crops, has a small window for planting. Bad weather or broken equipment can set a farmer's profits back.

"Last year if I hadn't gotten my rice in a 10-day window, I wouldn't have gotten anything," Christian said. "It's very critical how fine a line and how small a margin you got for error."

National rice production is forecast to hit the highest numbers since 2011, up about 19.7 percent from last year, according to USDA data.

Christian said low yields last year, combined with low prices, meant that rice farmers like him saw tight margins.

"Rice prices were pretty low," Christian said. "They're not where they need be."

Herb Ginn, Lawrence County staff chairman of UA's Agriculture Research and Extension Service, said rice farmers last year were waiting for enough dry weather to get rice in the ground. Lawrence County is one of the highest rice-producing counties in the state.

"Last year, we were really struggling," Ginn said. "We'll be up more than 10 percent, is my guesstimate. I am seeing a lot of rice."

Other Arkansas crops, including soybeans, wheat and corn, also are being planted on or ahead of schedule, according to the UA Cooperative Extension Service.

Business on 05/20/2016

Print Headline: State's rice planters beat clock

Talking with … An exotic rice importer who saves water, women’s backs
by alix wall, j. correspondent

Name: Caryl Levine
El Cerrito
Co-founder, Lotus Foods
J.: You and your husband founded a company importing various kinds of heirloom rice from around the world. What sparked this idea?
Caryl Levine: It started with a market research trip through China in 1993, where my husband Ken [Lee] and I were looking for an entrepreneurial business idea. We had no idea it would be in the food industry. We were in this village in southwestern China that has 26 different ethnic minorities. We were served this steaming bowl of black rice with a roasted nutty flavor with a hint of fruit. Everyone told us it was very nutritious and had numerous health benefits. They said it had been reserved for the emperors to ensure them a long life. Later, we were in Beijing, in the Forbidden City, when Ken had the idea to call it Forbidden Rice, the Emperor’s Exclusive Grain. We shipped some home, and sent it to a dozen top Bay Area chefs. Everyone is always looking for the next exciting ingredient and plate presentation.

Caryl Levine
Where is the majority of the rice you import grown?
Asia and Southeast Asia, with some in India, Cambodia, China, Africa, Madagascar and Italy. In addition to discovering and creating a market for Black Forbidden Rice, our vision was to keep the biodiversity of rice alive. Twenty years ago, the most exotic rice varieties in this country were basmati and jasmine, no one knew about these heirloom varieties like black or red from Bhutan. If there’s no market for them, farmers won’t grow them. We are ensuring that small family farmers can get a fair wage for growing these varieties.

Tell me about your campaign to incentivize farmers to use less water to grow rice.
For 5,000 years, people thought rice needs to be flooded; but it survived in water, it didn’t thrive. We started an awareness campaign called “more crop per drop,” about SRI, or System of Rice Intensification, in which farmers use 50 percent less water and no chemicals, doubling and tripling their yield. Almost 4 billion people eat rice daily to survive and it’s grown on the backs of women. With this new system, they use a weeder and are standing straight instead of bending over, weeding and transplanting. Women who adopt this are spending so many fewer hours in the fields. They have more time for child-rearing and other activities that may bring more income. With women not having to work in flooded fields, they aren’t as exposed to disease, like the malaria mosquito, and it improves their food security, health and income.

Tell me about your involvement with the Clinton Global Initiative.
In 2008, Ken was invited to speak about how we’re helping to alleviate poverty with some of our small farmers using the SRI method. In 2014, I was invited back to speak about sustainability. I was on a panel with companies like General Mills and McDonalds. It was like David and Goliath, it was wonderful for me to be in that company and for the larger companies to hear what we were doing and realize what impact they could be making. Last year, we got to bring one of our Thai SRI farmers to be on a panel that Chelsea (Clinton) hosted.

Buying local is prized among people who care where their food comes from. How do you counter that message, since your products likely appeal to those same consumers?
We’re considered a local company, and we live in a global world. When you bring a container of rice [by sea], you’re using less energy than you might when you’re growing rice on the East Coast and shipping it cross country. Also, how we’re growing it creates no methane emissions, so it’s better for the environment. It isn’t so black and white.

What was your Jewish upbringing? Do you feel your Jewish values influence the way you run your business in any way?
I came from a Conservative Jewish family on Long Island. I chose piano over Hebrew school, but I’ve always identified with my Jewish heritage; I kept my last name because it’s part of who I am and it’s always identified as being Jewish, it gives me away. When I meet interesting and smart people and then realize they’re Jewish, I think, “Aha! It’s because you’re Jewish. You’re my tribe.”

“Talking with …” focuses on local Jews who are doing things we find interesting. Send suggestions

05/19/2016 Farm Bureau Market Report


Cash Bids
New Crop

Riceland Foods

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Soybean Comment

Soybeans closed with modest losses given the sharp declines early in the session. At midday soybeans were down 24-cents on the day, but managed a late rally to close only down 4-cents. While soybeans saw strength in export sales, actual sales were lower than expected. Continued competition from South America remains a drag on U.S. exports, but the market still expects a sharp increase in exports as the new marketing year begins. The soybean market remains oversold and could see further losses if technicals begin to dominate the market.


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Wheat Comment

Wheat prices failed to see the recovery experienced soybeans and closed near daily lows. The market remains under significant pressure from a lack of demand and prospects for bigger supplies. Weakness in outside markets remain the major driver driver for wheat as there is little fundamental support for wheat.

Grain Sorghum

Cash Bids
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Corn Comment

Corn prices closed sharply lower today as improvements in weather forecast are expected to boost corn prospects. The larger supply concerns overshadowed the strong export sales report released earlier this morning. While prices closed lower there was a late rally which pulled prices off their lows. Corn prices continue to face a bearish fundamental outlook, and now have the challenge of trying to break resistance at $4 again.




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Cotton Comment

Cotton futures turned lower today as a strengthening dollar sent commodities tumbling. Not even a positive export report could turn things around today. USDA says export sales were 201,100 running bales for 15-16 shipment. That brought export commitments to a total of 8.492 million bales for the marketing year, which is still 21% below the year ago total. China continues to auction 30,000 tons a day to local mills. So far, they are liquidating higher-quality cotton, but the market is looking for indications they are running out of their best reserves and will begin to auction lower quality cotton, some of which is years old. Planting progress is well ahead of last year's pace, and bit ahead of the 5 year average as well. December will have resistance at the recent high of 63.69 cents, while support is at 60.10 cents.


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Rice Comment

Rice futures turned lower as a stronger dollar pressured commodities. Arkansas farmers have now planted 96% of intended acres. The question remains, though, will they stop there? The five year average for this date is 80%, so if conditions remain favorable, the crop might get bigger. This large crop could limit the upside potential of the market, however, dry conditions in other rice growing regions of the world could provide support. July continues to trend higher, but Wednesday's high of $12.14 1/2 will be the first level of resistance. Above that, the upside objective is the 62% retracement level of $12.46.


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Arkansas Prices

Illegal Occupation’ of Kulgam SKUAST Unit Affecting Research Work

Posted on: Friday, May 20th, 2016
Authorities at Mountain Research Centre for Field Crops (MRCFC) (erstwhile Rice Research and Regional Station), a constituent unit of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Kashmir (SKUAST-K) located at Khudwani area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district Thursday alleged that forces have illegally occupied some of their buildings, thus drastically affecting research atmosphere of this Centre.
Associate Director MRCFC Ghulam Ahmed Parrey said that during 2010 uprising, Police Post, Khudwani which was located at Qaimoh “forcibly and illegally occupied” three buildings of Mountain Research Centre for Field Crops.“At first, only 8-10 JK police personnel were posted in the Police Post and now the Police Post has been converted into full police garrison which include JKP, JKAP, SOG, sometimes CRPF and at some occasions Regular Army operate from this Centre. Now they are making illegal occupation stronger day-by-day as they have fenced more than 3 hectares of land by tin sheets and that too without any approval from undersigned or Competent Authority of the University. The Police Station/SOG Camp has been operating from our research centre. The presence of the police post has been causing tremendous difficulties to scientific staff in carrying out research and other related activities at the Centre,” Associate Director said.
Associate Director, according to CNS, said that MRCFC is a vital centre for maintenance of various indigenous and exotic genotypes of rice, wheat and oilseed crops developed and maintained over a long period and is known nationally and internationally for its contribution in evolution of high yielding crop varieties.Parrey said that the “illegal occupation” by Police and forces attached with police Post Qaimoh Kulgam has drastically affected research atmosphere of this Centre.
“Every time the police, paramilitary and army personnel are observed in the premises of the Centre and their unscheduled movements and their vehicles are constantly disturbing the working atmosphere. All matters pertaining to police cases, criminal cases, accidents and family matters are being dealt openly in the campus itself and consequent to it the status of work culture can just be imagined. During September, 2014, devastating flood further aggravated the situation due to complete felling down of the fencing further enhanced trespassing from all sides.”
“During any law and order problem in the vicinity of our Centre, the University property becomes first causality at the hands of protesters, which in the process of targeting the said Police Post, cause irreparable damage to the property of the Centre and even at times the standing and stored produce are also not spared. Last year in February, June and October, the Farm was converted into a battle field and during the counter operation of forces against the protesters the oilseed, wheat and rice crops were completely tramped over, resulting in loss of valuable germ-plasm of wheat, oilseeds and rice. Such episodes have been a routine at the centre and as a result of which, the staff feels insecure and are hesitant to work at the Centre,” Parrey said adding that he has even communicated to Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST Kashmir and has requested him to take up the matter with the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor of the University during the coming University Council Meeting.
He said that Centre “will lose credibility” in case security post is not relocated. “In view of the importance of this Research Centre, with respect to food security, University cannot, under any circumstances, spare even a marla of land for non-agricultural activities or for construction of a Police Post,” Parrey said.

Government allows bulk exports of rice bran oil

Government has allowed the bulk exports of rice bran oil without any limitation on pack sizes
The Government of India has permitted the bulk exports of rice bran oil without any limitation on pack sizes, a decision that will possibly help the rice millers and paddy growers in the country. 

"Export of rice bran oil in bulk (irrespective of any pack size) has been exempted from the prohibition on export of edible oils," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification on Thursday.

Currently, the exports of edible oils are permissible in branded packs of up to 5 kg with a minimum price of export of $900 a tonne.

Although India imports considerable amount of edible oils, the government has allowed the bulk exports of rice bran oil in order to help the small rice millers to get better price internationally as demand of the oil is limited in the local market.

The country’s imports of vegetable oil (including edible and non-edible oils) reached a record 14.61 million tonnes, during the oil year 2014-15 (November-October).

During the first six months of the oil year 2015-16, the vegetable oils imports increased by 17 percent to 75.57 lakh tonnes, compared to 64.66 lakh tonnes in the same period of the previous oil year. 

Imports meet more than 50 percent of India’s cooking oil demand.

The country imports palm oil majorly from Malaysia and Indonesia and a little quantity of crude soft oils, along with soyabean oil, from Latin American countries.

In-Depth Analysis of TPP Shows Rice Right to Abstain for Now  
WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. International Trade Committee (USITC), an independent, quasi-judicial Federal agency with broad investigative responsibilities on trade matters has released a long-awaited analysis of the mammoth Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, and the findings aren't making the strong case for the deal that the Obama Administration likely had hoped for.  
The almost 800-page report estimates a modest gain for the U.S. economy with consumer purchasing power up 0.23 percent over the next 16 years with the deal as compared to not having the deal in place.  Some agriculture sectors do well with pork, beef, poultry, and dairy making net gains in exports over imports, but the same cannot be said for rice according to the USITC. Rice remains the only agriculture sector that has not publicly taken a position on the pending trade deal between 12 nations, saying they believe the deal to be deficient for rice, but that they will hear the U.S. negotiating team out.  That non-position appears to be validated by the USITC report. 
"U.S. rice production is expected to be marginally lower under TPP than without in response to lower exports," the report says.  "Exports would decline because the U.S. rice industry may find that gains in access to the Japanese market are more than offset by lost Mexico, where the United States would lose its current tariff advantage over Vietnam."

"As we've said from the outset, we don't believe the modest gains presented in the deal offset the potential losses that will result from the deal," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.  "However, we're not giving up on turning this into a win for U.S. rice farmers and we're seeking some clarity and assurances around some of the issues, specifically with regard to access to Japan, solidifying our number one market of Mexico, and seeking meaningful compliance by our trading partners with existing agreements."

USITC previously studied rice and global competitiveness at the request of the House Ways and Means Committee and found that rice is the commodity with the most government interference around the world.

"We hear all the time that rice is a sensitive commodity around the world," Ward said. "Well guess what?  We feel the same way."

Chancellor visits Stuttgart facilities

Chuck Culver, with the UofA research and extension center, gave a short presentation about what they study at the center followed by a tour by Chuck Wilson, director. They then went out to the rice plots that they study where Jarod Hardke explained about the different varieties. Following the tour, the group went next door to...

Dawn Teer/Stuttgart Daily LeaderJarod Hardke talks rice to Joe and Sandy Steinmetz.
By Dawn Teer
Stuttgart Daily Leader

Posted May. 19, 2016 at 12:33 PM

The University of Arkansas (UofA) Chancellor Joe Steinmetz, along with wife, Sandy; Vice Chancellor of Administration Marsha Overby, Chief of Staff Laura Jacobs, Vice Chancellor and Athletic Director Jeff Long, Vice Chancellor for Advancement Chris Wyrick, Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance Tim O’Donnell, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Charles Robinson and representatives of UofA Division of Agriculture were at the UofA Division of Agriculture Research and Extension and the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center (DBNRRC) for a tour of what both facilities study on Wednesday as part of a five-day tour of the State.
Chuck Culver, with the UofA research and extension center, gave a short presentation about what they study at the center followed by a tour by Chuck Wilson, director. They then went out to the rice plots that they study where Jarod Hardke explained about the different varieties. Following the tour, the group went next door to the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center where Dr. Anna McClung, director gave a tour of the facility and explained what research they do there.

Steinmetz, a native of Michigan joined UofA Fayetteville in January. Prior to coming to Fayetteville he was at Ohio State University as executive vice president and provost.
“There was a national search and I was fortunate enough to be chosen. The position was very attractive.” he said. The Steinmetz’s have two children, one in Bloomington, Indiana, the other in New York City and four grandchildren.

Arkansas County is home to more than 395 UofA alumni, with 33 students from the Stuttgart area committed to joining the incoming freshman class.Steinmetz felt it was important to visit Stuttgart since it is a key part of Arkansas' agriculture economy in rice production, and supporting that research and success is a core tenet of the university's land-grant mission.The U of A's Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences has programs in agribusiness; agricultural economics; agricultural education, communications and technology; animal science; crop, soil and environmental science; entomology; food science; horticulture; human environmental sciences; plant pathology; poultry science.

Steinmetz, a first-generation college graduate, joined the U of A as chancellor in January. He has spent the last five months meeting with every academic department on campus as he works to build the future academic plan for the state's flagship institution. This statewide tour is a key element of that effort, as well. Steinmetz is visiting with alumni and local and state leaders across the state to learn more about the unique needs and interests of our state as he sharpens his vision for the future of the U of A. "I want to learn more about the people and unique needs in our state," Steinmetz said. "The best way to do that is to visit them. I don't expect to learn everything in five days we certainly won't be seeing everything there is to see. But this marks a beginning.

Drought drives demand for govt's old rice

The latest auction for old rice from the government stockpile drew strong interest from the private sector as drought and stable demand. (Photo by Kitja Apichonrojarek)

The private sector placed orders for 1.17 million tonnes of the government's old rice stockpile, worth about 10 billion, in the latest auction, the Foreign Trade Department said on Thursday.
Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the department, said on offer in the auction were 1.19 million tonnes from 121 warehouses in 30 provinces, The government expected to earn about 10 billion baht from the ordered rice.The average price of 5% broken white rice was 11,267 baht per tonne, that of 10% broken white rice at 10,550 baht, and that of A1 Special broken rice at 7,879 baht.

The third auction of the old rice stockpile this year concluded on Thursday.Mrs Duangporn said the prices were good for long-stocked rice while market prices stood at 13,900 baht per tonne for 5% broken white rice and 11,000 baht for A1 Special broken rice.The private sector was highly interested in the latest auction due to drought and stable rice demand, she said.About 10 million tonnes now remained in the old rice stockpile, Mrs Duangporn said. The next auction would probably be next month.

This government had organised 14 auctions and sold 5.4 million tonnes of rice from the old stockpile for  57.6 billion baht. If the latest auction is included, sales now totalled 6.5 million tonnes worth 67.6 billion baht, Mrs Duangporn said.Thai rice exports this year to May 16 rose 18% year-on-year to 3.9 million tonnes worth 61 billion baht, up 11.85% year-on-year, she said.

Senate FY 2017 Ag Appropriations Promote USDA Post in Cuba 
By Peter Bachmann

WASHINGTON, DC -- This morning, the Senate Committee on Appropriations unanimously voted to advance their $147.7 billion Fiscal Year 2017 spending bill for agriculture and nutrition programs.

The discretionary funding, $21.25 billion, is consistent with that proposed by the House bill and $250 million below the FY 2016 discretionary funding level.A boost in funding is included for:  agricultural research ($25 million), USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service ($44.9 million), Natural Resources Conservation Service ($13.6 million), Food Safety and Inspection Service ($19 million), and Food and Drug Administration ($39 million).

USA Rice Vice President of Government Affairs Ben Mosely said, "USA Rice is particularly happy to see the devotion of $1.5 million towards staffing USDA personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba.  We organized a letter with a wide array of agricultural support requesting appropriators to provide the funding and we're glad our suggestion was incorporated into the bill."
Mosely added, "Level funding for international food aid programs that incorporate U.S.-grown commodities such as rice is considered a win to our organization.  Food for Peace and the McGovern-Dole aid programs are important to the U.S. rice industry."

Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, said, "Our bill not only invests in crucial priorities like agricultural research, food safety and inspection services, but also increases flood prevention and conservation efforts by addressing watershed project backlogs in all 50 states.  It also incentivizes military veterans to explore career opportunities in production agriculture."

The bill will now requires the approval of the full U.S. Senate as does the House's version before they may be conferenced to work out their differences.  It's still unknown whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will bring the bill to the floor of the Senate for a vote before the chambers leave Washington for summer recess in July.


Tropical Cyclone Roanu a Flood Threat in Eastern India, Bangladesh, Myanmar

May 19 2016 07:00 PM EDT
By Jon Erdman

Tropical Cyclone Roanu may not become an intense Bay of Bengal cyclone, but it may instead trigger dangerous flooding in parts of eastern India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar into the weekend.
After dumping over a foot of rain, triggering destructive mudslides in Sri Lanka earlier in the week, an area of low pressure consolidated enough convection near its center to be deemed a tropical cyclone just off the coast of India's Andhra Pradesh state northeast of the city of Chennai Wednesday.Thanks to wind shear, the change in wind speed and/or direction with height, Roanu is not expected to strengthen much over the next few days as it tracks generally northeast toward the coast of Bangladesh or northwest Myanmar sometime this weekend.As a result, the primary threat from Roanu will be heavy rainfall. 

In general, the rainfall potential of a tropical cyclone is not a function of its intensity (i.e. maximum sustained winds), but rather its forward speed.Some of the most extreme rainfall events worldwide have occurred when tropical cyclones, in some cases as weak as depressions or even remnant lows, move slowly, or stall. While not completely stalling, Roanu will move slow enough to dump some rather prolific rainfall, particularly over eastern Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the eastern states of India.Moist southerly winds ahead of the center of Roanu will also steer clusters of thunderstorms with heavy rain ashore in these same areas.

This poses a dangerous threat of flooding and landslides, particularly in the higher terrain of the eastern India states, far north and western Myanmar, even perhaps into extreme south-central China into next week.

Last summer, Tropical Cyclone Komen combined with the normal wet phase of the Asian monsoon to dump over 3 feet (1 meter) of rain to parts of eastern Bangladesh.
The resulting flooding and mudslides claimed at least 200 lives and destroyed 55,000 homes.
Fortunately, Roanu is not expected to intensify appreciably. The Bay of Bengal has a notorious history for the world's deadliest tropical cyclones, owing to both population density of low-lying areas near the coast and the shallow northern end of the Bay of Bengal, funneling storm surge into Bangladesh, in particular.

In early May 2008, Cyclone Nargis slammed into southern Myanmar, driving a storm surge into the country's Irrawaddy Delta, claiming over 138,000 lives in the country's worst natural disaster.