Wednesday, September 28, 2016

28th September,2016 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Basmati GI and TM issues need to be resolved promptly: Unisame

September 27, 2016

KARACHI - Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the Intellectual Property Organisation (IPO) and the registrar Trade Marks (TM) to expedite the protection law on geographical indications and the trademark ownership of basmati to settle both the issues promptly.
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises President Zulfikar Thaver regretted that both the issues of GI and TM of basmati rice are lingering since years and it is high time the matter is resolved so that Pakistan's GI rights are protected and saved from the mischief of our competitors who are not acknowledging and recognising our rights despite the fact that Pakistani basmati rice has inherited features and characteristics of basmati rice because of aroma, length and look and of course the best cooking ability as it elongates when cooked.
“It is very unfortunate that the Indian court dismissed our case on grounds of lack of evidence.
Actually our representatives should not have gone in the first place without complete homework and that too in a competitors’ country not at all friendly,” he said.
If we have our GI protection law in place such rulings will not affect us, he said, adding now that the draft is ready it should be placed before the cabinet and the national assembly promptly.
Thaver also urged the registrar of trade marks to grant or declare the ownership rights of basmati rice in favour of Pakistan government which may assign it to the ministry of commerce or agriculture as it deems fit and under no circumstances it must go to any trade body or association

Wheat, bajra rise on increased offtake

PTI | Sep 27, 2016, 02.10 PM IST
New Delhi, Sep 27 () Firm conditions prevailed at the wholesale grains market today as wheat and other grains firmed up on the back of increased offtake against restricted supplies.
Traders said increased offtake by flour mills helped wheat to trade higher.
Pick up in demand from consuming industries pushed up other bold grains prices, they added.
In the national capital, wheat dara (for mills) moved up by Rs 10 to Rs 1,815-1,820 per quintal. Atta chakki delivery followed suit and traded higher by a similar margin to Rs 1,820-1,825 per 90 kg. Maida and sooji also traded higher by Rs 10 each to Rs 1,070-1,080 and Rs 1,100-1,110 per 50 kg.
Other bold grains like bajra and barley went up by Rs 30 and Rs 20 to Rs 1,375-1,380 and Rs 1,580-1,585 per quintal, respectively.
Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):
Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,300-2,835, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 1,815-1,820, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 1,820-1,825, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 275, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 275, Roller flour mill Rs 960-970 (50 kg), Maida Rs 1,070-1,080 (50 kg) and Sooji Rs 1,100-1,110 (50 kg).
Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,700, Basmati common new Rs 4,700-4,900, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 3,900-4,700, Permal raw Rs 2,000-2,050, Permal wand Rs 2,125-2,200, Sela Rs 2,700-2,800 and Rice IR-8 Rs 1,800-1,810, Bajra Rs 1,375-1,380, Jowar yellow Rs 1,800-1,900, white Rs 3,500-3,700, Maize Rs 1,510-1,520, Barley Rs 1,580-1,585. SUN KPS SRK MKJ
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The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the Secretary MinisMINCOM URGED TO FILE APPLICATION FOR BASMATI TM FORTHWITH

Ministry of Commerce (MINCOM) to without loss of time file an application for registration of Basmati trade mark (TM) on the basis of national ownership and also place the geographical indication (GI) protection law before the cabinet and thereafter the national assembly.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said lethargy in legal matters is detrimental to national interest and MINCOM needs to move fast through the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and complete the process.

He said there is not an element of doubt in both the issues of GI and TM and said both are internationally acknowledged and recognized that basmati is only grown in India and Pakistan and the basmati rice grown in Pakistan definitely has all the characteristics and features of basmati rice namely the aroma, length, look, taste and cooking ability of elongating when cooked.

Thaver said now that the draft GI protection law drafted by the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) is ready and approved by the stakeholders, efforts must be made to promptly make it a law in the best national interest.

He lamented that instead of expediting the matter some stakeholders are trying their best to seek ownership of the TM and creating hurdles. MINCOM should not allow this to happen and declare that it is our national heritage and belongs to Pakistan. No trade body, association or segment must be given the ownership.

Infact all growers, shellers, processors, merchants and exporters can use the TM basmati if the grains merit the tag

29th R&D Plenary and Concurrent Session Presentations and Souvenir Program

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Time to pack off Naveen: BJP

Published: 28th September 2016 05:16 AM
Last Updated: 28th September 2016 05:16 AM

BJP leaders taking out a protest rally in Bargarh on Tuesday | EXPRESS
BARGARH: With an eye on panchayat poll and resentment brewing among farmers over raw deal given to them by the State Government, the BJP on Tuesday came down heavily on the State Government for its failure in providing succour to the farmers.
The party’s district unit organised a protest meeting in front of the Collectorate which was attended by BJP general secretary Suresh Pujari and State BJP president Basanta Panda, among others.
Addressing the gathering in the land of farmers, Pujari demanded a CBI probe into the paddy procurement system in the State. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has indicted the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department for showing undue favour to private rice millers for custom milling of paddy despite huge arrears pending against them, he said.
He dared the State Government for a CBI probe and said it will land many bureaucrats and politicians behind bars.
The paddy procurement system has been virtually outsourced to rice millers and farmers are at their mercy, Pujari said. Though the Centre is paying for FAQ paddy, millers are deducting money on the plea of moisture content and foreign bodies to earn quick bucks, Pujari  leader said, adding that the State Government is hand-in-glove with rice millers.
The State Government has failed on both fronts __ in the land of farmers and in governance. Blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for covering up its failure will not absolve the BJD and time has come to pack Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Mahaprayan and the process would begin from Bargarh, he added. The BJD is providing mobiles to farmers and in return giving water to the companies, Pujari said.
Addressing the gathering, Panda said failure of the State Government to support the farming community forced them to reach out to farmers and take up their cause.Speaking on other problems faced by the people of the State, Panda said several schools have no teachers while many are running short of staff. There are no doctors in hospitals and corruption has reached a new high while law and order has collapsed. Time has come to give the BJD a befitting reply, Panda said.
The meeting was presided over State BJP vice-president Ashwini Sarangi, State executive member Sureshswar Satpathy and State Yuva Morcha general secretary Irasis Acharya. Earlier, the BJP took out a massive rally from district BJP office to the Collectorate after going round the town. The BJP also submitted a memorandum addressed to the Governor.

APEDA AgriExchange Newsletter - Volume 1565

Market Watch
Commodity-wise, Market-wise Daily Price on 24-09-2016
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Dr. Mike Strain to Lead National Association of State Departments of Agriculture

By Carrie Castille

BATON ROUGE, LA -- Elected last week, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., will serve as the 2016-17 President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA).  NASDA represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories and has been very involved in many policy fronts including Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS), trade, and the Farm Bill.  "I look forward to working with my counterparts in the states to realize our call to action for a renewed commitment to state-federal partnerships for the advancement of America's farmers and ranchers," Strain said.

"USA Rice has a very strong relationship with Commissioner Strain and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.  "He has been a vocal advocate for not only the Louisiana rice industry but the entire U.S. rice industry, and continues to administer critical programs such as the blackbird abatement program, and conduct important work supporting EPA approval of essential plant protection products.  We are fortunate to have Commissioner Strain at the helm of NASDA."  Strain has been a strong supporter of opening markets for Louisiana and U.S.-grown rice and is a proponent of advancing the phytosanitary protocol that would ease access to trade with China.  Recently, he led a Louisiana delegation to Cuba that included members of USA Rice.  Additionally, he worked with the U.S. Secretary of State's office to help navigate issues with trade in Iraq.In the wake of the 2016 floods that impacted much of Louisiana including the rice industry, Strain continues to work closely with rice leadership, USDA, Louisiana's congressional delegation and other members of Congress, and the Governor to secure additional appropriations to assist those with uninsured agricultural losses.
Bobby Hanks at the Sara Moulton party on Randy Thibodeaux's farm

USA Rice Food Aid Subcommittee Names New Chairman
By Sarah Moran

ARLINGTON, VA -- As a member driven organization, USA Rice has more than 40 boards, committees, and subcommittees to address the myriad issues that face the U.S. rice industry.  An area of continued interest is food aid, which comprises about 3-5 percent of U.S. exports.  USA Rice is proud to announce a new chairman to USA Rice's Food Aid subcommittee, Bobby Hanks.  Hanks is president of Louisiana Rice Mill which he helped co-found in 1999.  Bobby has great institutional knowledge of food aid issues for rice and will help this subcommittee push for greater utilization of rice in U.S. government food assistance programs," said Hugh Maginnis, USA Rice vice president of International.  The introduction of fortified rice is a real game changer for the U.S. rice industry and we have the potential to increase our exports in this area," said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.

  "There are many legislative and administrative hurdles that we will face in the coming months and years but I am confident that we as an industry will be successful with Bobby at the helm, because we have an excellent product and rice is the most consumed commodity in the world."USA Rice will be exhibiting at the upcoming USDA/USAID International Food Security Conference, October 10-11 in Des Moines, Iowa where information will be distributed to attendees and fortified rice samples will be available for view.

Crop Progress:  2016 Crop 73 Percent Harvested 

WASHINGTON, DC -- Seventy-three percent of the nation's 2016 rice acreage is harvested, according to yesterday's U.S. Department of Agriculture's Crop Progress Report
Rice Harvested, Selected States 
Week Ending
Sept 25, 2015    
Sept 18, 2016   
Sept 25, 2016  
2011-2015 average
Six States

Scientists warn global warming could be a threat to wheat and rice

28/09/2016 - 06:25:23Back to World Home

Global warming could rapidly threaten grasses including staple foods such as wheat and rice that provide half of all the calories consumed by humans, say scientists.A new study looking ahead to 2070 found that climate change was occurring thousands of times faster than the ability of grasses to adapt.While the research cannot predict what might happen to world food supplies as a result, the authors warn of "troubling implications".Grass is food, both for many species of animals and humans.Wheat, rice, maize, rye, barley and sorghum are all edible grasses that yield nutritious grains. In many parts of the world and throughout history, wheat or rice famines have led to widespread starvation.advertisementThe new research, published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, looked at the ability of 236 grass species to adapt to new climatic niches - the local environments on which they depend for survival.
Faced with rapid climate change, species wedded to a particular niche can survive if they move to another region where conditions are more suitable, or evolve to fit in with their altered surroundings.The scientists found that the predicted rate of climate change was typically 5,000 times faster than the estimated speed at which grasses could adapt to new niches.Moving to more favourable geographical locations was not an option for a lot of grass species because of limits to their seed dispersal and obstacles such as mountains or human settlements.

The researchers, led by Dr John Wiens, from the University of Arizona in the US, wrote: "We show that past rates of climatic niche change in grasses are much slower than rates of future projected climate change, suggesting that extinctions might occur in many species and/or local populations."This has several troubling implications, for both global biodiversity and human welfare."Grasses are an important food source for humans (especially rice, wheat and corn). Evolutionary adaptation seems particularly unlikely for domesticated species ... and even local declines may be devastating for some human populations.

Basmati genome data decoded, seeds of opportunity sown

Shimona Kanwar | TNN | Sep 28, 2016, 10.35 AM IST

CHANDIGARH: For the first time, the magic behind the aromatic basmati seed has been decoded. The Institute of Microbial Technology (Imtech) has sequenced the megagenomic data of microbes coexisting with basmati rice. With this, scientists have opened a big window of opportunity in this tiny white speck. They say that with access to such a data, there can be huge possibilities of new research to increase rice plant output and quality Megagenomics imply large-scale genetic data and sequencing of bacteria. One bacteria has around 5,000 genes and scientists at Imtech have sequenced genomes of 100 such bacteria. Imtech is one of 37 laboratories of Council of Scientific and Industrial Re search (CSIR) in Chandigarh.
"The new data can also lead to research in using lesser resources like water and land to grow rice -a staple for almost half the world's population," said Prabhu B Patil, lead author of the study.
In India, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar are major basmati cultivating states. India's export of basmati rice fetches between Rs 35,000 crore and Rs 40,000 crore annually. "The data can be a boon for farmers if it can identify those microbes of the grain which makes the crop drought, disease and shattering (during harvesting 1015% of the grains fall off) resistant," said Rameshwar Singh, project director, Directorate of Knowledge Management in Agriculture, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Delhi.

It is believed that with the chemical and artificial treatment of rice, the original or native bacteria that coexisted with the plant had been suppressed. Exploitation of this genomic data might restore the native bacterial consortium as was in millions of years ago.
Plants are host to numerous microbes that co-evolved over millions of years. These natural microbes in turn aid development and protection of plants in diverse climatic conditions. "Analysis of bioinformatics by an expert can become valuable source for further research. Imtech has shown a new direction to the world. It is a breakthrough when the world is talking about food security," said Girish Sahni, director general CSIR.

Patil's group at Imtech has published the `The rice microbiome' in Frontiers in Microbiology. It is the first megagenome database of seed microbiome of any plant. "We have sequenced genome of bacteria found in basmati seeds. These bacteria would be contributing to boost rice's immunity to fight against diseases and other stressful conditions like less water etc," said Patil.

While genome data of many plants is available, the microbial megagenomic resource of only a plant weed -Arabidopsis thaliana was sequenced earlier. The data generated by Patil's group is the first megagenomic information of microbes associated with an economically important plant.

Samriti, who is the first author of the megagenomic study , along with Kanika Bansal, both PhD scholars associated with Patil at Imtech, is carrying forward this work.
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UAPB researchers improve disease resistance of hybrid rice varieties to ensure better harvests

Will Hehemann School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences
As part of the largest rice-producing state economy in the U.S., Arkansas rice producers are likely familiar with straighthead disorder, one of the most damaging rice diseases that can drastically reduce grain yields year-to-year, Dr. Bihu Huang, professor of agriculture at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, said. To offset the economic risks for rice farmers, faculty and student researchers at the UAPB School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences are working on hybrid varieties of rice for resistance to the disease, which costs Arkansas farmers $27 million and 74 million cubic meters of water annually.
“Straighthead is a non-fungal disease characterized by the sterility of the floral parts of a rice plant,” Dr. Huang said. “The disease’s name is derived from the appearance of the flowering parts of the diseased rice, which remain straight when sterile and devoid of the weight of grain.”
The disease, first reported in Arkansas in the early 1900s, is considered a threat to farmers because it can reduce grain yield to practically nothing, she said. Straighthead can occur every year, and Arkansas farmers have reported higher prevalence of the disease in recent years.
“A viable solution to the problem is introducing resistant genes into hybrid rice, which has a 20 percent yield advantage over traditional rice,” Dr. Huang said. “This could vastly reduce the amount of money and water used for the prevention of the disease. UAPB is working to improve the disease resistance in hybrid rice varieties to help ensure greater yields in Arkansas.”
During the course of her research in rice breeding, Dr. Huang and a team of graduate and undergraduate researchers utilized various rice germplasms from the U.S. Department of Agriculture world rice collection. The varieties she used are selected based on their relevance to field conditions in Arkansas.
Dr. Huang said UAPB’s involvement in rice research in Arkansas works to fulfill the objective of the Department of Agriculture to strengthen economic development in Arkansas by developing new and innovative research applicable to farming systems in southeastern Arkansas. Additionally, it enables UAPB to expand its capacity to conduct research in the area of food production and support its research mission to enhance the quality of life for diverse and limited-resource audiences.
The research in rice breeding has provided involved, hands-on research opportunities for five graduate and three undergraduate students at UAPB, Dr. Huang said. In addition to contributing to research on campus, the students collaborated with and received training from scientists at the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center and University of Arkansas Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart and the Texas A&M University AgriLife Research and Extension Center.
“Research into timely topics with real-world applications and collaboration with the nation’s leading scientists has generated student interest in the Arkansas rice industry and provided invaluable training for future careers in agriculture,” Dr. Huang said. “UAPB’s participation in research so relevant to one of our state’s strongest industries will increase the ethnic, racial and gender diversity of the nation’s agricultural, scientific and professional expertise base.”

Vietnamese investors target rice investment

Vietnamese rice investors and exporters drawn from about 14 companies are in the country to explore investment opportunities in rice production, processing, storage, marketing and distribution.The one-week visit from September 23-29 is organised by the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ghana-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.The country consumers about 750,000 metric tonnes of rice annually. However, just about 290,000metric tonnes are produced locally; leaving a deficit of some 460,000 tonnes which has to be imported.The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data shows that, Ghanaians, in 2014, consumed 754,698 metric tonnes of rice, with imports making up 52 per cent. Government has said it is poised to cut the annual rice import bill of about US$600million and make the country net exporter by 2020.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture argues that efforts at increasing local rice production to curb over-reliance on importation of the commodity is being undermined by lack of adequate infrastructure, specifically rice processing mills, in rice-producing communities of the country.

Prairie Texas Incorporated, otherwise known as Aveyime Rice Project, has also been left to rot. The rice processing facilities at the factory have been quiet for years. Hundreds of workers have also been laid off.Vietnam is the world’s fifth-largest rice-producing country and has the requisite expertise in the production of the crop. The Southeast Asia country’s rice production has continuously increased, from 25 million tons in 1995 to almost 40 million tons in 2010.

Vietnam is one of the world’s leading rice exporters. The country’s rice exports reached 5.3 million tons in 2005 and almost 6.9 million tons in 2010.The similarity in the landscape of the Asian country is similar to Ghana’s landscape which is ideal for the production of the crop.Rice production challenges For the 2014/15 farming season, farmers in the three northern regions had thousands of bags of rice locked up in warehouses due to the unavailability of mills to process the commodity, a situation that compelled the farmers to use manual means of rice processing which do not meet market standards.

Ghanaian consumers often cite the presence of stones in locally produced rice, aside price, as the reason they opt for imported brands.According to the Agric Ministry, the situation is an impediment to government’s quest to motivate rice farmers into boosting local production of the commodity to cushion food security, aside from robbing the farmers of their primary source of livelihood.

“Lack of rice-processing plants in the Northern Region is making it difficult to produce to feed the nation and produce quality rice that meets market specifications,” Alhaji Mohammed Limuna, the Agriculture Minister has said.He added that: “The few in the region are defunct—a situation that has compelled government to continue spending huge sums of money to import similar goods to meet demands of the population.

This is affecting income generation of the local rice farmers, aside from discouraging most of the farmers from venturing into the rice sector only to incur debt.”There are also other production constraints, such as land tenure problems, removal of subsidy on inputs, absence of water control systems which consequently leads to high-risk and non-intensive cropping practices.

Other problems include low yields and low profitability, reduction of the productive capacity of the soil, coupled with over liberalization of rice trade in Ghana.Rice is important to the country’s economy and agriculture, accounting for nearly 15% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).The rice producing area totals about 45% of the total area planted to cereals. The rice sector is an important provider of rural employment.

Nigeria imports $18m tooth picks yearly – Minister

The Federal Government yesterday bemoaned Nigeria’s over dependence on imports for its daily needs including food items.Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh said it was ridiculous that the country spends over $18m annually on importation of tooth picks.
Asked how he arrived at the figure, he said it was from a recent Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) report, stressing that it was pathetic that Nigeria was spending its hard earned resources on non-essential items. The Minister reeled out some scary statistics on the nation’s food import situation for example; where over 7 million tons of rice consumed annually in the country were imported from Thailand, India and Vietnam.
Ogbeh said: “We depended on Thailand, India and Vietnam to feed us with rice, we depend on other countries to feed us with tomato paste; we depend on others even for tooth picks at the cost of 18 million dollars per annum. We depend on Brazil for sugar; and we also depend even now on other countries for pepper and so on. We import 5million eggs per a day from South Africa. We bring sliced potatoes from South Africa. We spend $600 hundred million in importing fish a year.
There’s no reason why we can’t grow our fish here. “We bring in milk and milk products to the tune of $1 billion dollars per annum because our cows don’t yield enough milk. One litre per a day and the meat you eat is as good as plastic because the cows walk too much. To walk from Maidugiri to Lagos is a bit of excessive exercise and when we spoke of special grasses to feed the cows, we got all the abuse in the world on the internet because those who don’t know about the subjects got involved.”While he said the Buhari government was making efforts to reverse the trend, the Minister regretted that the country lacked enough machinery for food processing.”“We don’t have enough rice mills even now that rice paddy is increasing in large volumes. We are behind schedule in our capacity to mill our rice. We don’t have enough mills to produce enough cassava starch for the upcoming textile industry,” he lamented

Arkansas Rice Hardest Hit by Rain Damage

Published 09/26 2016 12:03PM
Updated 09/26 2016 12:03PM

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Arkansas rice crop is taking the hardest hit after heavy rains in August that have cost farmers across the state more then $46 million, according to preliminary damage estimates.
In a news release issued Mond ay by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Economist Brad Watkins said that figure may be as high as $50 million once the fall harvests are finished and the extent of the damage is known.
Losses to the state's rice crop amounts to more than $18.6 million in lost value, with estimated yield loss of more than 4.1 million bushels. Of harvested grain, 16 percent is rated poor and 12 percent rated very poor.
The preliminary report, drafted by Watkins and Eric Wailes, Distinguished Professor of agricultural economics, is based on crop and harvest reports by Division of Agriculture crop specialists, the release stated.
Watkins presented the report to a meeting of the Arkansas General Assembly’s Joint Committee of Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development held Sept. 21 at the Division of Agriculture’s Livestock and Forestry Research Station near Batesville.
Watkins said the losses resulted from heavy rains around the third week of August. Many crops were at or near harvest stage when the rains and flooding occurred.
Seven counties — Randolph, Greene, Lawrence, Craighead, Independence, Jackson and White — along the Black, Cache and White rivers were the hardest hit, Watkins said. Those rivers collected rainfall from watershed tributaries and sent it into low areas, submerging many northeast Arkansas fields.
Sustained submergence of fields accompanied by sustained cloudy conditions destroyed many fields and severely damaged crop output and quality from others.
Many rice, soybean, corn and grain sorghum grains were damaged by sprouting in the field, and soybean pods split open. The result was that significant percentages of harvested crops were rated poor or very poor when they arrived at market.
  • Soybeans have an estimated yield loss of nearly 1.1 million bushels, amounting to nearly $10.8 million in lost value. Ten percent of harvested soybeans were rated poor and 9 percent very poor.
  • Only Lawrence and Randolph counties reported some flooding of corn and sorghum fields, but rain and cloudy conditions resulted in sprouting damabe to about 80 percent of the sorghum crop. The result is an estimated $5.6 million in lost value.
  • The main impact of the rains on corn was delayed harvest. Other impacts were increased ear molds and greater occurrence of stock rot and lodging. Lodging may become more of a problem as harvest continues.
  • About 5 percent of cotton acres were affected by the August rains. A preliminary estimate of lost value is about $11.5 million.
Watkins said the August rains are believed to have damaged vegetable and melon crops, but reports are incomplete and losses cannot be estimated. One producer reported a complete loss of 500 acres of cantaloupes, Watkins said, losing a market value of $1.5 million.
Other small farmers with cooperative contracts with grocery stores that market local produce have had significant losses and were not able to deliver on their contracts, Watkins said.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Have a cool one tomorrow—rice growers will thank you

Sep 27, 2016 by Hembree Brandon in Farm Press Blog
Of the 25 “most beer-loving states,” only two Mid-South states were included, Missouri at No. 2 and Louisiana at No. 11, but the region does supply a goodly amount of the rice used in brewing beer.

Tomorrow (Sept. 28), I am advised by a pre-dawn e-mail, is National Drink Beer Day, and that Budweiser (The King of Beers, their ads have told us for decades) has conducted a Beer With Your Buds national survey to determine respondents’ favorite drink to enjoy with friends.Not surprisingly, the survey found beer at the top of the list, more than double that of margarita and wine, with cosmopolitan and gin and tonic a distant fourth and fifth. And when drinking socially, those surveyed prefer domestic beer over imported.
Of the 25 “most beer-loving states,” Massachusetts was at the top of the list. Only two Mid-South states were included, Missouri at No. 2 and Louisiana at No. 11, but the region does supply a goodly amount of the rice used in brewing beer. California and Washington state ranked 18th and dead last, respectively, one supposes because of their many wineries.
Those drinking domestic beers, the survey found, are perceived as more “genuine and approachable” than those drinking imported beers.—Getty Images/Scott Olson
No mention is made of the genuineness and approachability of those imbibing the hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of craft beers that have sprung up in recent years; mayhap they are too bogged down in analyzing all of the taste components, real or perceived (aromatic, peppery, smoky, cidery, acidic, grassy, astringent, and on and on).
Delta Farm Press Daily
As the little boy remarked when he kissed a cow, “Everyone to his own taste,” beer has never been one of mine. Just never liked the stuff.  You’ve got to cultivate a taste for it, I’ve been told any number of times over the years. Sorry, not for me.
On a junket once, in an ancient underground beer hall in Brussels, Belgium, our group was offered a choice of more than 100 different beers, the most popular being served in two foot-tall glasses. I gamely tried a couple of sips, then washed the taste away with Pepsi.
I’ve cooked with beer, made bread with beer, and have had many interesting, fun, times with friends who were drinking beer; I just never wanted to drink it myself.
But to all those who do like it and find it enjoyable, have a cool one tomorrow in observance of National Drink Beer Day. Mid-South rice growers will thank you.

Interest growing in ‘row rice,’ other rice innovations: Part I

Sep 26, 2016 Forrest Laws  | Delta Farm Press
Low prices, high production costs and growing pressure to reduce water usage are leading rice farmers to try new ways of growing their crop.One of those is planting rice without using the traditional levees to flood their crops, a practice many are calling “row rice.” Another is the increased use of no-till, less water and new herbicide technologies.
Jeff Reeves, regional sales manager for central Arkansas for RiceTec talked about those changes and what they could mean to producers during an interview at RiceTec’s Mid-South Field Day at its Arkansas Business Center near Harrisburg.
For more information on RiceTec and rice production, visit

NFA may import rice in Nov for next year’s need

By James Konstantin Galvez, TMT on September 27, 2016 Business

THE state-run National Food Authority (NFA) on Monday said that it might start negotiations as early as November for the remaining half of its standby authority to fill the country’s rice requirement by the start of next year.NFA Officer in Charge Tomas Escarez said that they have already submitted the proposal to the interagency NFA Council for approval, noting that the 250,000 metric tons of rice to be imported would include buffer stock in anticipation of the La Niña climate phenomenon, which is expected to start affecting the country by January or February 2017.

“We already imported 250,000 MT but then we think more is needed between January to February, which is considered as a temporary lean months because there is no harvest,” Escarez said told reporters on the sidelines of the agency’s 44th anniversary celebration.The official said that they are just waiting for the final instructions from the NFA Council, which scheduled to meet on Tuesday (today).Traditionally, lean season in the Philippines starts in July and ends in September. It is also the time when the government imports rice that would help stabilize price in retail markets.But with the effects of La Niña expected to be felt in the country by the end of the year, the NFA Council will need to decide immediately if it will push through with the importation plan to prepare for the impact of a wetter climate.“This will give NFA sufficient lead time to preposition the stocks nationwide in time for the season of tropical storms and typhoons which usually occur during the end of the third quarter until the fourth quarter,” Escarez earlier said.

La Niña, a weather phenomenon characterized by unusually cool ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific, usually occurs after an El Niño episode. The weather phenomenon is also expected to bring heavy rains in most parts of the country, especially in Mindanao.Meanwhile, Escarez assured that the public that there is more than enough stocks – with more than 18 days grains reserve stored at government-owned warehouses.“At present, withdrawals at NFA warehouses nationwide was pegged at 32, 150 bags per day,” he added.Under the Food Staples Sufficiency Program, the entire country should have a 60-day inventory at any given time, and a 90-day buffer stock during lean months.The state-run grains agency alone is required by law to have at least 15-day buffer stock in its depositories at any given time, and 30-day buffer stock during lean months.Last month, the NFA awarded to the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the supply contract for 250,000 metric tons of rice to beef up the country’s food security stocks.

Indonesia Needs Cheaper Rice

Indonesia would consider buying more rice from Cambodia if the price was more competitive, the Indonesian ambassador to Cambodia told reporters after the Indonesian Trade and Tourism Promotion 2016 expo in Phnom Penh on Friday.  Ambassador Pitono Purnomo said that Cambodia and Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding in 2012 for the annual export of about 100,000 tons of milled rice and have been in continuous talks since.

He added that so far, negotiations had yet to provide enough incentive to increase imports as the price of Cambodian rice was too high. He said Indonesia was one of the world’s biggest rice consumers and needed rice not only for consumption but also for stock stabilization.  “The price of Cambodian rice is high, you have to make it lower to compare with your competitors like Thailand and Vietnam. Indonesia is one of the biggest rice consumers,” Mr. Purnomo said.

“If you make the price more competitive compared to Vietnam and Thailand, Indonesia will of course consider Cambodian rice. We are not going to import premium rice as we are importing it for the average citizen. We don’t need high grade as we also want to use it for stock purposes,” he added.Mr. Purnomo said the ball was now in Cambodia’s court, adding that if the price was reduced, Indonesia would make appropriate considerations. “As far as I know, we’re only stuck on the price. I understand the price is a bit higher since you have higher-quality rice and logistics are high.”Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said at the rice purchasing and export workshop that Indonesia has been working with the Ministry of Commerce to purchase about 400,000 tons of rice and just needed to agree on the price and type of rice.

“Indonesia demands white rice with more than 15 percent broken rice to deliver to average people. It is not a premium rice. Indonesia wants to purchase low-grade rice,” he said. “We are now working with Indonesia, but we want our rice exporters to consider low-quality rice for export.”

Song Saron, president of Amru Rice of Cambodia, told Khmer Times that his company had yet to export to Indonesia because the price for logistics was higher than neighboring countries and added that Indonesia’s market was for white rice. “In my opinion, we cannot talk about export [to Indonesia] at the moment. We must first make our price more competitive,” he said.Mr. Saron added that Cambodian rice would be more competitive if electricity, logistics and port costs were reduced as well as other administrative procedures for rice millers and exporters. He said Cambodian white rice costs about $425 per ton while that in Thailand and Vietnam was $380 and $360 respectively, about $40 to $65 higher per ton.  

“Production costs should be under $30 per ton. Generally, our production costs are about $100 from rice paddy. If it is $40 to $60 per ton we could do it,” Mr. Saron said. “If logistics, electricity, and port costs are high, how can we compete with neighboring countries?”

In 2015, according to figures from the Indonesian embassy, Indonesia exported $435 million in goods to the Kingdom while Cambodia exported only $15 million to Indonesia. Indonesia’s exports included garments, spare parts, chemicals, medicine and tobacco while Cambodia mostly exported garments and food.

China urged to speed up $300M rice loan

Tue, 27 September 2016
A Cambodian government official urged China’s new ambassador to the Kingdom yesterday to speed up a $300 million loan aimed at building rice storage facilities across the country, a nearly two-year-old request that has seen little traction as Cambodia’s rice sector continues to struggle, state-owned media outlet AKP reported. Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong told China’s ambassador to Cambodia, Xiong Bo, that the country desperately needs the funds and asked China to buy 300,000 tonnes of Cambodian rice annually

Vietnamese trade and investment delegation in Ghana

September 27, 2016 Dao Manh Duc

A Vietnamese Trade and Investment delegation is in Ghana, to explore opportunities in rice production/farming, processing, storage, marketing and distribution.The trip is being organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Ghana-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.Among the delegation for the visit, which runs from September 26 to September 29, include top government officials from the Ministries and the Trade Office of the Vietnam Embassy.Mr Dao Manh Duc, Head of Trade Office of Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Nigeria, said the visit is to help improve the balance of trade between the two countries.He said the rice investment and trade programme would provide education on the latest trends in rice production, both in terms of practice and technology.Vietnam is the number one exporter of rice in the world.
Source: GNA

Rice farmers donate to food bank for flood relief

Posted: Sep 28, 2016 12:22 AM PST Updated: Sep 28, 2016 12:22 AM PST
The Louisiana rice industry donated 13 tons of rice to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to help the organization rebuild its inventory after last month’s devastating floods.The gift will provide 324,000 half-cup servings."The donation from the Louisiana rice industry has tremendous impact for us, because it truly is a staple of Louisiana culture and of a Louisiana diet," said Michael Manning, President and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. "In light of the recent flooding and the destruction to our community as well as our facility, this donation of rice is a great non-perishable item for us to distribute to those most in need.”
The donation was made by the Louisiana Rice Growers Association Louisiana Rice Mill and Falcon Rice Mill, both of Crowley; Planters Rice Mill of Abbeville, Farmers Rice Mill of Lake Charles, the, retired rice farmer Jimmy Hoppe, the USA Rice Federation and USA Rice Staff.
In addition to contributing rice, Falcon Rice Mill packaged the donated rice from all sources and Farmer Rice Mill provided, at cost, the rice that was purchased for donation by LARGA, Hoppe, and USA Rice and its staff.
“Our farmers are just completing one of the most challenging harvest seasons in memory, but they realize that this flood also impacted our fellow citizens and are happy to share our rice with those in need,” said Michael Fruge, president of the Louisiana Rice Growers Association.
The donation is being made during National Rice Month, and Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a proclamation declaring September as Louisiana Rice Month.
The August flooding crippled the Food Bank as its facility had 4 feet of water that damaged equipment and ruined more than 500,000 pounds of food.
Just days after the flood, the Food Bank secured a temporary location to begin operations, Manning said. “We provided food assistance through neighborhood distributions and member agencies. Since the middle of August, more than 1 million pounds of food have been distributed.”
He said the Food Bank is moving its warehouse operations back to its original location.
But he said the Food Bank’s services are needed now more than ever as flood victims continue to recover from the disaster.
The food bank is a regional organization that provides food to more than 115 charitable agencies operating food pantries, group homes, shelters, meal sites and special agencies in 11 parishes.  In  2015, the Food Bank provided approximately 8.7 million meals.
Steve Linscombe, director of the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station said the contribution from the LRGA is significant because of the difficult times currently facing farmers. “Low prices had already presented a difficult challenge. This year’s flooding made harvest a struggle for many farmers. In some cases, they had no choice but to leave their ruined fields unharvested.”