Thursday, January 26, 2017

26th January 2017 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Rice basmati climbs on upsurge in demand

24 JANUARY 2017 | 2:31 PM

Basmati rice (Lal Quila) Rs 10,700, Shri Lal Mahal Rs 11,300, Super Basmati Rice Rs 9,700, Basmati common new Rs 6,900-7,000, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 5,600-6,800, Permal raw Rs 2,050-2,075, Permal wand Rs 2,150-2,200, Sela Rs 2,800-2,900 and Rice IR-8 Rs 1,850-1,860, Bajra Rs 1,425-1,465, Jowar yellow Rs 1,750-1,800, white Rs 3,500-3,700, Maize Rs 1,600-1,610, Barley Rs 1,800-1,820

New Delhi, Jan 24 Rice basmati prices firmed up by Rs 500 per quintal at the wholesale grains market today on brisk buying by stockists following uptick in demand against restricted supplies.
However, other grains held steady in thin trade.
Traders said brisk buying by stockists, driven by upsurge in domestic as well as exports demand against restricted supplies from producing regions, mainly pushed up rice basmati prices.
In the national capital, rice basmati common and Pusa-1121 variety shot up by Rs 500 each to Rs 6,900-7,000 and Rs 5,600-6,800 per quintal respectively.
Following are today's quotations (in Rs per quintal):
Wheat MP (desi) Rs 2,750-3,050, Wheat dara (for mills) Rs 2,000-2,010, Chakki atta (delivery) Rs 2,020-2,050, Atta Rajdhani (10 kg) Rs 285, Shakti Bhog (10 kg) Rs 285, Roller flour mill Rs 1,140-1,150 (50 kg), Maida Rs 1,200-1,210 (50 kg)and Sooji Rs 1,270-1,275 (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 6,900-7,000, Rice Pusa (1121) Rs 5,600-6,800, Permal raw Rs 2,050-2,075, Permal wand Rs 2,150-2,200, Sela Rs 2,800-2,900 and Rice IR-8 Rs 1,850-1,860, Bajra Rs 1,425-1,465, Jowar yellow Rs 1,750-1,800, white Rs 3,500-3,700, Maize Rs 1,600-1,610, Barley Rs 1,800-1,820

6% of rice consumed in Ghana imported

The latest Oxford Business School report has revealed that only 34 percent of rice consumed in the country is produced locally, resulting in the importation of 680,000 tonnes annually. 
Even though the country’s domestic production has increased by 12 percent over the 2010-15 period, states the report, domestic consumption increased by double that rate over the same time frame. As a result, Ghana imports between $300 million and $500 million of rice annually. The report further states that, between 1999 and 2008, rice consumption grew from 17.5 kg to 38 kg per capita and is expected to reach 63 kg per capita by 2018. 

With population growth, urbanisation and shifting consumer preferences, demand for rice is expected to continue expanding in the coming years. Reversing the country’s import-dependence has been a tough nut to crack by successive governments of the fourth republic, with a number of initiatives failing to boost local rice production to appreciable levels. 

In 2008, under President John Kofour, the National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS) was out doored, with the goal of doubling rice production by 2018 and improving quality to increase demand for domestic rice. 

As part of the NRDS and the Food and Agricultural Sector Development Policy II, adds the report, the government provided extension services, stabilised prices through the National Buffer Stock Company, which was formed to intervene in staple markets such as maize and rice in order to set minimum prices at the beginning of the growing season. The erstwhile government under President John Mahama also introduced a number of programmes. 

In the 2015 budget, the rice production sub-sector received GH¢22 million to boost rice production. Also under the Enhanced Access to Quality Rice Seed Initiative, 200mt of improved rice seed were distributed to 10,000 farmers in the Volta, Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions to increase productivity. Again, to boost local rice production, 77 tractors, 49 power tillers, 20 rice threshers, 11 rice reapers and six rice mills with their respective components were assembled and sold to farmers. 

In addition, 100 units of Cabrio tractors, with multi components, were assembled for sale to farmers on hire purchase. But a number of challenges continue to bog down the sector, including the lack of adequate rice mills. In the Northern Region, for example, where nearly 40 percent of the country’s rice is produced, thousands of bags of rice are locked up in warehouses due to the unavailability of mills to process the commodity, a situation that has compelled the farmers to use manual means of rice processing, which do not meet market demand. 

In an interview with the B&FT at last year’s Rice Festival, Mike Bartels, German Cooperation—Green Innovation Center for The Agriculture and Food Sector, Ghana, said there is tremendous opportunity in the rice industry if the private sector increases its participation. “We believe that there is a huge potential in rice production in Ghana which is untapped. 

I don’t believe that it is the task of only the government to promote the local rice industry. It is the responsibility of the government to create a conducive framework for innovations that work so that the private sector takes over the task of investing in machinery and logistics that will help the industry thrive,” he said.

Sri Lanka to import rice from neighbouring countries
By adminJanuary 25, 2017 17:16
Sri Lanka is to look at importing rice from neighbouring countries, the

Government information department said today.The cabinet has noted that the Ministry of Rural Economic Affairs has taken steps to issue 90,958 MT of paddy of the Paddy Marketing Board in district level to private paddy mill owners and Lanka Sathosa to be processed into rice.It further considered that though Lanka Sathosa has already processed the paddy and a kilogram of rice is being traded through Sathosa outlets at Rs. 76/-, private mill owners have still not issued them to the market.

The cabinet has decided to appoint a cabinet subcommittee to issue the rest of the stocks in a suitable method and to take action against mill owners who have failed to issue rice stocks to the market.The cabinet has also taken note that the Government of Indonesia will donate 10,000 MT of rice to Sri Lanka on a request made by President Maithripala Sirisena and it will arrive in Sri Lanka soon.It also paid attention to the need of importing rice from neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam unless the price of rice is reduced. (Colombo Gazette

Check corruption in FCI, demand rice millers

UPDATED: JANUARY 26, 2017 04:14 IST
Federation of All India Rice Millers’ Association (FAIRMA) national president Tarsem Saini on Wednesday asked the government to take stern steps to check corruption in the Food Corporation of India (FCI) which collects levy from the rice millers.Speaking at the executive committee meeting of the federation, the delegates from all over the country discussed the problems faced by rice millers across the country.“The federation will not side with the erring rice mill owner,” he assured.

Mr. Saini said a uniform policy should be implemented on power charges collected from rice mills all over India. The software developed by the Central Government for FCI was useful and helped cashless transactions between the corporation and the rice millers. He alleged that some corporation employees were creating hurdles in the use of the software.He demanded that the government increase milling expenses to Rs. 50 per quintal

VN rice exports set to face another tough year
Despite facing difficulties, Viet Nam will strive to achieve rice exports of more than 5 million tonnes this year, the Viet Nam Food Association has said.

Despite facing difficulties, Viet Nam will strive to achieve rice exports of more than 5 million tonnes this year, the Viet Nam Food Association has said. 

Speaking at a meeting to review the VFA’s performance last year in HCM City on Monday, its secretary, Huynh Minh Hue, said last year only 4.89 million tonnes were exported for $2.12 billion, a 25.5 per cent fall in volume and 20.57 per cent decline in value.There was excessive supply in the global market last year, and there has been a recent trend of major importing countries increasing domestic production to reduce imports, he said.
Viet Nam’s rice exports are likely to face another difficult year as supply outstrips demand and global competition intensifies, he said.

He quoted the US Department of Agriculture as saying global rice output in 2016/17 is estimated to increase by 1.6 per cent from last year to 480 million tonnes due to an expansion in the area under rice in many countries including Australia, Myanmar, Brazil, India, Indonesia, North Korea, Pakistan, Thailand, and the US, he said.
Global exports are expected to rise by one million tonnes or 2.6 per cent to 40.6 million tonnes, he said.
Stockpiles have been increasing for the last three years and are expected to reach the highest levels since 2001/02 crop, he said.

Huynh The Nang, VFA chairman, said despite the hurdles, rice businesses would strive to export higher volumes than last year to ensure farmers can sell off as much of their outputs as possible.In the long term the domestic rice sector targets exports of high-value rice to affluent markets, he said.He said the Plant Protection Department and other relevant agencies should take measures to improve the hygiene and food safety of Vietnamese rice to enable more exports to choosy markets.
The association said rice exporters should meet hygiene and food safety standards and strengthen linkages with farmers to ensure a steady source of the grain to meet market demand.Hue called on the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to build an international standard laboratory in Can Tho to help exporters check their rice quality, especially look for plant protection chemical residues, instead of sending to other countries for analysis as is done now.Nang said authorities in rice growing localities need to do more to instruct farmers in producing rice meeting safety standards, encourage them to use more certified rice seedlings and improve technical and financial support systems.Do Ha Nam, chairman and general director of Intimex Group Joint Stock Company -- one of the country’s 10 largest rice exporters -- said while exports of other kinds were down, exports of Japonica and sticky rice went up by 136.95 per cent and 96.59 per cent.“But farmers have [since] rushed to grow more sticky rice, which [poses a] risk.”
He said the Government should work with China to facilitate exports of Vietnamese rice to that country.
“We face severe competition in terms of price from Pakistan and India.“There may be difficulties but if we choose to invest in varieties like fragrant rice and sticky rice, there will be opportunities.”
Le Thanh Tung of the Crop Production Department said Viet Nam has the potential to boost exports of sticky, fragrant, Japonica and high-quality rice varieties.Besides improving quality, Vietnamese firms should also focus on building brands, he said.

Rice stockpile
The association on Monday called on the Government to approve a programme to stockpile rice temporarily from the winter-spring crop to ensure farmers do not lose.Tung said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, based on rice production and consumption in February and March, would make specific recommendations for it.The quality in the 2016/17 winter-spring crop would be better than last year’s, he added

New Coloring Activity Book Lets Kids Get Creative 

ARLINGTON, VA -- USA Rice released a new coloring booklet for children ages 2-6, to teach them about rice grown in the USA.  This new resource joins USA Rice's collection of other educational resources including the U.S.-Grown Rice in the Classroom pamphlet and the Think Rice classroom curriculum, which are regularly requested by extension agents, educators, and others conducting youth programs including county fairs, Ag in the Classroom projects, and other local events.

"The U.S.-Grown Rice in the Classroom pamphlet is always a hit with kids, but since its content is geared toward 4th - 6th grade students, it left out younger kids," said Mary Jemison, USA Rice meetings and member services associate.  "So we decided to create a simple, fun, and easy-to-print coloring activity that tells the farm-to-table story of U.S. rice while also being age appropriate for the younger audience."

The four-page activity features a map of the U.S. on the front and asks kids to color in the six outlined rice growing states.  The center page spread shows the lifecycle of rice by season and allows kids to color in different scenes from the farm.  The last page brings rice to the table where kids can color in a family making dinner and draw a MyPlate inspired dish with rice.  

"Since kids are seeing MyPlate all the time at school, it's a good opportunity to show them that rice has a place on MyPlate too," said Jemison.  The coloring sheet will make its big debut at the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show next month which attracts 20,000 visitors.  Jemison says, "Kids love visiting the USA Rice booth to spin the prize wheel, and we're really excited to have this new activity and USA Rice colored pencil sets to distribute."

The new coloring booklet is available for download on and physical copies can be requested by emailing USA Rice.

What’s in store for world rice markets?

‘One rice forecast I got very right and one rice forecast I got very wrong’
Milo Hamilton | Jan 24, 2017
Five years ago, I got China right. But I got India all wrong. I predicted that China would be a huge rice importer. I did not in my wildest dreams imagine India, so desperately short of water, would so rapidly accelerate its water consumption beyond any other Asian nation and then flood the world with cheap rice exports.
We live and we learn. Don’t we?
Erick Hoffer, wrote in his book, The True Believer: “In times of change the future belongs to the learner while the learned will find beautiful ways to cope with a world that no longer exists.”
When it comes to the rice market, I urge you to not be a learned know-it-all, living in a rice market that does not even exist. Instead, become a rice market learner, every day.
This is a survival skill for your operation in this exponentially changing world with a new U.S. President no one predicted would win. I liken the shock at Trump’s surprise victory to the bearishness in the rice market right now.
No one thinks the rice price can recover for many months, if not years. The bull party is on the outside looking at the incumbent, pervasive market opinion of low rice prices forever.
Do not be so sure you are right (learned) and know all about this rice market. I have been trading or advising it for 35 years and have bought millions of tons and tens of millions of dollars of rice. Expect the unexpected. It is a Texas rattlesnake that can bite you in the wallet in a New York hedge fund minute.
Let me briefly explain to you one very good reason why the rice price is so low now. The reason is spelt I-N-D-I-A.But first let’s do a quick overview of my book, “When Rice Shakes the World,” I wrote and where we are right now.The world is divided into the haves and the have-nots. There are parts of the Earth that have less water on tap -- color them red. Then there are parts of the world that have lots of water -- color them green. Parts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Western United States are arid to semi-arid. These regions will never grow rice, which takes twice the water of dryland wheat.
Rice grows largely below the latitudinal line that crosses north Arkansas. Half the Asian rice belt, which is south of this latitudinal line, suffers from intense water problems. North of this belt line, folks can grow a lot of barley, corn, wheat and soybeans but about zero rice. The Earth has a shortage of area with good soils and flat terrain that can grow rice, if we should encounter a rice supply problem.
I want to leave you with three amazing facts.
·         Five years ago, I was telling our subscribers that China would be the largest rice importer in the world. That came to pass.
·         What is incredible to me is that the entire rice production in the Western Hemisphere is about equal to what is produced in Vietnam, just a tiny sliver of the Asian rice belt on the eastern edge of southeast Asia.
Vietnam is obsessed with putting rice first to keep people from starving. People are not starving there; just rice farmers who are starving there financially as the government makes them grow a losing proposition, which is rice.
China is the good guy for world rice farmers. The price there is high at about $18 per cwt. and China imports rice like South Korea and Japan. But China imports rice because it cannot supply its citizens with the rice they want. Imported rice is not just cheaper but it is also edible. About 10-30 percent of its rice land produces rice no one wants to eat. End of story.
That should be bullish on the price but perhaps not quite yet. China is now bent on setting aside millions of hectares of polluted farm land, which is a very good idea. India should also curb its rapidly accelerating water use as well. Then, the world rice market would become rational again.
·         What amazes me is that India is an exporter, massive exporter of rice.
That is a mystery to me I did not in any way predict five years ago. India has a massive and growing over use of its groundwater. Half of India is arable, while only 15 percent of China is arable. So, India gives away water virtually for free so rice farmers will elect politicians. It is about growing votes, not just rice. I got India all wrong.
The rice market had a price earthquake or rather volcano in 2008 and the world rough rice or paddy markets blew apart. China hiked its rice price to the moon because it is a good guy. India pushed billions of dollars’ worth of subsidized inputs to keep its rice price dirt cheap. All paddy markets are sinking towards that $7 per cwt. price in India. Ouch!
No county in Asia with collapsing water tables should grow rice for $7 per cwt. But India is doing just that and burying the market with 10.5 million metric tons of exports each year.
Any forecast of rising world rice prices must include a turnaround in the paddy price in India. I think India has declining rice stocks and wheat stocks and things could get very interesting in 2017. If the rupee gets stronger against the U.S. dollar, their price will rise just as it has weakened with the weak rupee.
The demonetization of the rupee and the lack of cash banknotes for trading have created a huge mess, may cut winter wheat plantings and perhaps leave rice to rot because there is no cash to plant wheat or buy rice now.
So, that is the rice world and it is a bit crazy.
What about your market? Well two things determine the price you will receive: world paddy trends I just discussed and then the basis, the local difference between cash minus futures. You want to sell your rice when the local basis is strong. That can make a $1 to $2 difference in what you receive for your rice.
We watch all the regional rough rice markets for long- and medium-grain as well as rough rice markets in every major rice country of the world. On our website and in our newsletter, we watch the basis: Arkansas, the Mississippi River delivered price, CIF NOLA, Texas, SWLA, and even California medium-grain. We have been doing this since 2003. Visit our website,, and learn about the global and local side of your rice market.
Become an unassuming learner, not a presumptuous, learned person. The market in the next 12 months will not be dull. It will be violently volatile. Be prepared for the unexpected.If everyone whispers in your ear who will win for sure, be prepared for a dark horse to take it all in Washington, D.C. and in Chicago. And I am not referring to the Cubs or their momma bears either.

Trump's push against trade deals disappoints some of his supporters

Trump presidency a mixed bag for farm groups.
Bloomberg | Jan 25, 2017
by Shannon Pettypiece and Alan Bjerga 
Donald Trump’s push against trade deals he says have devastated small-town U.S. workers is bringing disappointment to another key piece of his rural American coalition: Farmers and ranchers who heartily supported the president in hopes of less regulation and lower taxes.
Trump’s decision Monday to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have reduced tariffs and strengthened economic ties between the U.S. and 11 other countries, will cost the agriculture industry as much as $4.4 billion a year in potential sales, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the biggest U.S. farmer group. 
Reopening talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has called a "disaster" and plans to bring up in a meeting later this month with the Mexican president, risks dealing an even bigger blow for agriculture, one of the few sectors of the American economy with a net trade surplus.
"I feel nervous and anxious about what is next," said Ron Heck, who has 4,000 acres of soybean and corn crops in central Iowa. "I know that President Trump has concerns with manufacturing and he didn’t take this step lightly, but now we have to wait and see what better deals can be negotiated."
Exports of corn, cotton, soybeans and other goods in the year that started Oct. 1 are estimated at $134 billion, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in November. The three biggest destinations for U.S. farm products: China, Canada and Mexico. Adding to the malaise, the threat for exports comes at a time when U.S. farm incomes have already fallen for three straight years, the longest slump since 1977.
The prospect of Trump’s presidency has always been a mixed bag for farm groups. Positions restricting immigration and trade were less popular, while that was balanced by hopes that reductions in regulations and taxes may offset any negative effects on the industry.
Voter Differences
The split on key campaign issues illustrates the difference between "farm voters" and "rural voters" among Trump supporters, said Gary Blumenthal, president of World Perspectives Inc. in Washington. Farmers are iconic in American culture and influential on Capitol Hill, where agriculture groups give more dollars to candidates than the defense and transportation industries.
But manufacturing and service workers are more numerous in rural America, and Trump’s message was more narrowly focused on their needs than they were to agriculture’s, Blumenthal said. 
"When Trump is talking about trade he’s talking about factories," a big job generator in the industrial Midwest, where voters in small cities and rural areas gave Trump the victories that won him the White House, Blumenthal said. "Agriculture is a different fit."
The National Grange, the oldest nationwide farm organization, acknowledged as much, saying it opposed TPP for the sake of its neighbors. As a farm group, "we understand the value" of TPP, its President Betsy Huber said in a statement. Still, she added, "the Grange also represents the interests of residents of rural areas and small communities, who produce other products and may not expect to fare as well." 
Other farm groups may also be in an uncomfortable position, and not just on trade, Blumenthal said. Biofuel skeptics have found a home in the new administration, and conservative groups have called for less government spending on agricultural subsidies.
‘Concerted Effort’
In response, "there’s been a concerted effort to remind the White House about the importance of agriculture to the rural vote," Blumenthal said. "There’s a feeling that once the administration puts two and two together they’ll realize that agriculture’s important to jobs in rural areas, and trade is important to agriculture.”
After Trump dumped TPP, the Farm Bureau said it was disappointed in the decision. The group’s president, Zippy Duvall, a Georgia farmer and friend of the president’s Agriculture Secretary nominee, said in a statement the administration needs to work "immediately to do all it can to develop new markets for U.S. agricultural goods."
In lieu of TPP, the administration plans to pursue bilateral trade deals with individual countries that Trump believes will result in better deals for Americans, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday at the daily press briefing.
"We do understand that trade and TPP specifically were a campaign issue," said Tracy Brunner, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and a fourth-generation rancher in Kansas.
Cattle and beef producers overwhelmingly supported Trump, even with his protectionist stance on trade, because they believed he was much more likely to lessen regulations than his rival Hillary Clinton, who also came out in opposition to TPP, Brunner said. Not having a trade deal like TPP costs the cattle industry $400,000 in sales a day lost to other countries with lower tariffs, such as Australia, according to the cattlemen’s group.
Trade is key both for commodity-crop groups, with as much as a third of products like soybeans and corn going to China, and the meat industry, where countries included in the TPP and Nafta for more than 60% of foreign purchases for U.S. red meat, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
‘Key Markets’
“In some of these key markets, the U.S. red-meat industry will remain at a serious competitive disadvantage unless meaningful market access gains are realized,” Philip Seng, president of the USMEF, said in a statement. “We urge the new administration to utilize all means available to return the United States to a competitive position.”
Not every farm group said leaving TPP was a bad idea. The proposed agreement reflected a "continuance of our nation’s deeply flawed trade agenda," The National Farmers Union, the second-largest farmer group and a trade-agreement critic, said in a statement. The organization, which has associated with Democratic Party policy positions in the past, said it was pleased with the Trump administration’s move.
For now, farmer groups said they still have hope in the new president, looking forward to what’s good for them while trying to change his mind on the less favorable.
"We will work with the hand we were dealt, and we will continue to try to explain the benefits of trade in every avenue we have," Brunner of the cattle group said.
--With assistance from Shruti Date Singh.
To contact the reporters on this story: Shannon Pettypiece in New York at; Alan Bjerga in Washington at
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at
Millie Munshi, Robin Saponar
© 2017 Bloomberg L.P

Sign Up for the Delta Farm Press Daily newsletter today!
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Long-term beef price outlook normal, but unexpected news can change prices

Risk remains for beef cow-herd owners in spite of slowing of sharp price declines since October. Some stability appears in beef prices.
Duane Dailey 1 | Jan 25, 2017
“Why do you hang on to your calves?” the beef economist asked cow-herd owners in the room.
Scott Brown answered his own question: “Because their price is going up. Right?”
Brown, with University of Missouri Extension, cautioned, “There are still downside risks.”
Risk remains in spite of slowing of sharp price declines since October. Some stability appears in beef prices.
“Unforeseen events cause volatility,” Brown reminded the gathering of producers of Show-Me-Select replacement heifers. “Market shocks occur in response to news.”
He gave an example. A release of the USDA cow inventory Jan. 31 might contain surprises, Brown said. “If cow numbers are sharply higher, that could cause a drop in beef prices.
“I get arguments in both directions, up and down, on cow numbers,” he said. However, he admitted he thought there would be more cows reported in the U.S. herd. One reason is continued holding back of more heifers.
Brown had already explained that there is a mountain of meat — pork, chicken and beef — facing U.S. consumers.
A growing cow herd will only add to the supply of beef to be sold.
News after the cow count release could drag markets down. “You might consider future downside risks when deciding when to sell calves,” Brown said.
However, when he asked herd owners if they increased their herds, few held up their hands. “I could be wrong on a growing cow herd,” he said.
“If we can’t sell beef abroad, that means that meat must be consumed here at home. The main way to move more meat is to lower prices.”
Brown went on to explain that international trade plays a big part in the price of domestic meat. Trade policy and value of the dollar both affect that foreign trade.
“Recognize that those changes affect your marketing decisions,” he said.
A strong dollar makes prices higher in other countries for buyers of U.S. beef. “If we can’t sell beef abroad, that means that meat must be consumed here at home,” Brown said. “The main way to move more meat is to lower prices.”
As always, Brown urged producers to consider risk management in their marketing.
In his overall outlook on cattle prices, Brown said, “We may be returning to what is a long-term normal price level.”
Managers must realize that input expenses don’t adjust down as quickly as market receipts.
Brown reminded producers that weather is a big player in determining the size of the cow herd. Drought, especially in the south-central plains, started the huge drop in cow herd size that led eventually to record high cattle prices in 2014.
Changing economics affect individual farm decisions. Major events affect all of agriculture. Price swings in commodity prices make for planning headaches for beef producers.
“It’s a series of unforeseen events that caused recent volatility,” Brown said.
The Show-Me-Select heifer producers follow management and genetic guidelines developed at the University of Missouri. Protocols, such as for calving ease, add value to heifers coming into the herd.
Heifers with proven genetics add price premiums to replacements sold in the annual spring and fall heifer sales.
Brown tells beef producers that adding quality is a form of risk management.
Repeat buyers at the sales learn that heifers with better genetics outperform old cows they replace. Return buyers bid more at the next sale to buy quality.
Copyright © 2017 Penton

Action likely to be taken against rice millers who did not process government paddy
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 - 18:49
A Cabinet Sub Committee has been appointed to take action against rice millers who bought paddy from the Paddy Marketing Board but did not process the stocks thus far. Cabinet Spokesman minister Gayantha Karunathilaka told the media briefing to inform Cabinet decisions held in Colombo today that minister of Special Project Dr. Sarath Amunugama will chair this Subcommittee.

Meanwhile, Joint Cabinet Spokesman Minister Rajitha Senarathna said that the Prime Minister was unaware of the circumstances behind the tyre factory when he participated recently at its foundation laying ceremony at Wagawatta in Horana
Looking to Eat Well? Keep It Simple to Make It Stick with Minute Rice

TORONTO, Jan 25, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
At the start of 2017, many of us vowed that this year would be different. In 2016, we were too busy to grocery shop, our kids turned their nose up at dinner - so we caved and got takeout more than we'd like to admit. But this year it was going to be different. We were going to eat better, take proper care of ourselves and our families, and not fall into the same traps. But chances are old behaviours have already started rearing their heads, prompting many of us to ask: what am I doing wrong?
You're doing nothing wrong. Contrary to popular belief, it can take anywhere from 18 to over 250 days to form a new habit. Every single one of us operates on a different timeline, which means our environment greatly influences our success. And when it comes to forming new eating habits, what we keep in our kitchen - or put in our pantry - can sway what we actually end up eating.
Not to mention, getting a meal on the table during the week is no easy task. There is a reason why dinnertime has earned the title of the "witching hour." From picky eaters, to turning into a short-order cook, or being just too tired to shop, these parental pain points have us yearning for a mid-week win. Well, wait no longer. Help is on the way, with the Minute Rice(R) #WeekdayWin Challenge. Need a 15-minute recipe for a real? A meal your picky eater will actually eat? Our #WeekdayWin network - a community of moms, foodies and family experts - has the answers. For the next eight weeks, our network will uncover the best, mom-endorsed recipes and meal planning tips to solve the most common pain points for Canadian families. Sourced from their community of moms, our network will help families across Canada to create a new habit with simple meals they can feel good about. After all, who knows better than Mom?
So just what are those dinner time dilemmas for parents?
Shop your pantry for that mid-week win.
Recent Canadian Minute Rice(R) Research confirms that eight-in-ten women (82%) say that when they're too busy to grocery shop, they rely on a stocked pantry with key items like rice, pasta or olive oil to prepare easy, wholesome meals at home. As much as many of us romanticize the idea of the daily, European-style shop, our busy North-American lives rarely - if ever, during the week - allow for it.
"When you spend as much time online as we do, you can be lured into falsely believing that every meal you make needs to be an original creation, with carefully-sourced ingredients that were bought day-of," says family food blogger and #WeekdayWin Network member Julie Albert, who co-founded Bite Me More with her sister Lisa Gnat. "We love cooking like that occasionally, but we can't do that every day. Our pantries are packed with simple basics that we can quickly match up with a few other ingredients to satisfy our families when we have lots of other things going on," echoes Lisa.
Kid Friendly meals? The struggle is real.
Every parent has experienced it in one form or another - the long-faced, pouty-lipped expression coupled with an "I don't want to eat this" (or on worse days a "you can't make me.") Minute Rice's study reveals that nearly four-in-ten parents admit to struggling to find kid-friendly meals their family will eat, and 36% avoid dinnertime altercations altogether by preparing a different meal or dinner for their kids than they do for the adults.
If the adults want fish and veggies with rice, it's easy enough to substitute scrambled eggs in place of fish, or fruit in place of veggies, without having to create a second full meal from scratch. Interestingly also, a person's willingness to do this may somewhat depend on where they live: the research shows that people in Ontario are almost twice as likely to customize meals for kids as those from the Prairies.
"Between school, work, and activities many parents have limited time with their kids these days," says Julie. "Many simply don't want to spend family time fighting over dinner. Pantry ingredients like instant rice allow for easily adaptable meals that every member of the family can enjoy."
In keeping with these sentiments, the majority of women (79%) feel that meals they can make at home in 15 minutes, with fewer ingredients, make their life easier during the week. And simple ingredients can help solve that dinnertime dilemma.
Wholesome doesn't have to be pricy.
The study also revealed that 67% of Canadians want their family to eat wholesome and natural foods, but they feel it's expensive to do so consistently. In reality, it doesn't have to be. There are many wholesome foods available that don't cost an arm and a leg - and many of them can live in your cupboard, which can come as a surprise to some Canadians.
For example, half of us don't know that instant rice is simply rice that's been partially pre-cooked, a fact men and women equally agree on. One in four of us admit to not knowing what instant rice is at all.
"Rice is a grain we've been eating for thousands of years, that is simple, delicious, naturally fat-free, gluten-free, and non-perishable," says Norma D'Onofrio, Senior Brand Manager, Minute Rice. "Our instant rice is just rice that's been partially pre-cooked and dried so that people can save time at home. No additives, and it's just one ingredient. It's really that simple."
This means that those who stock their pantry with staples such as instant rice are in a position to save cooking-time, while also eating a wholesome grain that's been around for ages.
"Once you've decided that rice is going to be a part of the family meal, you only have to select a veggie and a protein to complete your plate," says Lisa. "A simple solution is imagining your meal in terms of 'thirds'. Pairing a grain, a serving of vegetables and a protein - like beef or chicken - can be your family's formula to making dinner time easy in three simple steps."
What's your #WeekdayWin?
Most Canadians decide what's for dinner about an hour before they start cooking, and when you're in the middle of your busy week, it's fair to assume that creativity is waning. So start your year off right by following #WeekdayWin for our network's inspiration, tips, and the winning mom-tested recipes tasted and scored by our network of savvy moms and Canadian families. And there's more. This February 8th, Bite Me More will provide some mid-week inspiration on our Facebook Live debut which tackles 15 minute meals (for real). Need further motivation? Visit for versatile, delicious and easy 1-2-3 meal ideas and see our network in action.
You'll soon get used to the satisfaction of consistently getting a meal on the table that's good for your family - and that you can feel good about serving. Achieved your first Weekday Win? Celebrate with us and share your #WeekdayWin to inspire others. We'll bask in your glory, and you may even have the opportunity to be showcased on our site.
About Minute Rice:
Made by the Catelli Foods Corporation, Minute Rice pre-cooked instant rice is available in tastes and formats that suit all palates. Wholesome, 100% Natural, Premium Long Grain White Rice; Premium Whole Grain Brown Rice - that's ready in ten minutes; convenient Ready to Serve Cups; flavourful Basmati and Jasmine varieties. For more information, visit
About the Research Study:
A survey of 1578 Canadians was completed online between November 28th and December 1st 2016 using Leger's online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.
View source version on
SOURCE: Catelli Foods Corporation, Minute Rice
For more information or images: 
Environics Communications 
Candace Beres, 416-969-2705 
Rida Ahmed, 416-969-2795
Copyright Business Wire 2017

I treat my body like an engine': Overweight man goes from couch potato to ripped personal trainer by eating SEVEN meals and 4,500 calories a day

·         Jon Woollard, 30, from Buckinghamshire, was 16 stone and did no exercise
·         But the former forklift driver overhauled his diet to become a personal trainer
·         Says he owes his transformation to getting through seven meals a day 
·         Has dropped over 3 stone and more than halved his body fat to 12 per cent

A formerly overweight forklift driver has revealed how he ate his way to a striking body transformation - by eating 4,500 calories a day.
Jon Woollard, 30, from Buckinghamshire, was 16 stone at his heaviest and struggled through years of yo-yo dieting before overhauling his diet and becoming a personal trainer.
In his twenties, Jon did no exercise and lived on a diet frozen dinners, chocolate, crisps and energy drinks to get him through long days in manual labour as a forklift driver and removal man.
Scroll down for video 
Jon in 2012, left, and now, right. In his early twenties Jon was 16 stone, being stuck in a routine of no exercise, frozen dinners and binging on energy drinks to get him through long days
Now he now weighs a lean 12stone 10lbs, having reduced his body fat from an 'excessive' 30 per cent down to 12 per cent.
Despite shedding more than 3 stone and toning up, Jon, who is now the proud owner of a rippling six-pack, now eats substantially more than he did at his heaviest.
On a daily basis he gets through a staggering seven meals, totting up an intake of around 4460kcal - but insists he's never been healthier.
Jon, now a personal trainer, claims he has achieved his dream physique by carefully altering his diet to gain muscle and get lean - and treats his body like a 'machine'.
He now wants to spread the message that skipping meals and cutting down calories can be harmful.  


Jon's meal prep for one day including lots of chicken breast, rice and broccoli
6.30am 75g rolled oats, 1 scoop of whey protein and a banana
9am Tuna steak, whole wheat pasta and vegetables
11am Chicken breast, Basmati rice and vegetables
1pm Chicken breast, basmati rice and vegetables
3pm (Pre workout meal) Chicken breast, basmati rice and spinach
6.30pm (Post workout meal) Rump steak or chicken breast, Basmati rice and vegetables
8.30pm Chicken breast with vegetables or 2 Ryvita with high protein peanut butter
When he initially decided to lose weight, Jon tried cutting down his calorie intake.
But although he lost weight by restricting his calories and lifting weights initially, he wasn't gaining muscle and felt regularly exhausted.
After researching nutrition online Jon discovered health retailer, which he says helped him transform his eating habits.
Now, in his new job as a personal trainer, Jon guides his clients through diet and exercise tips - and insists there are much better ways of losing weight than cutting down your food intake. 
Jon, a former forklift driver, now weighs a lean 12stone 10lbs, having reduced his body fat from an 'excessive' 30 per cent down to 12 per cent and dropping more than 3 stone
Jon shows off his muscles. In his new job as a personal trainer, he guides his clients through nutrition tips - and insists there are better ways of losing weight than just cutting food intake
Dedicated: Jon's daily diet consists of rolled oats, bananas, tuna steak, whole wheat pasta and vegetables, chicken breast, Basmati rice and vegetables - totting up 4,500 calories
An 'afternoon snack' for Jon now consists of five egg whites, two whole eggs, spinach, two slices of wholemeal toast and hot sauce. The personal trainer no longer scrimps on calories
Jon said: 'Cutting out meals and snacking on low calorie foods is not the way to achieve a long-term, healthy body transformation.
 'Solely focusing on cutting out food is a slippery slope, people need to make sure the body still gets everything it needs.
'Generally, short-term weight loss is achieved by reducing food intake but this type of diet is not sustainable. As soon as food intake is increased weight will return dramatically.
'When you suddenly eat much fewer calories your body goes into a type of energy saving mode, and your metabolism slows right down. 
The personal trainer in a holiday snap before losing the weight. When he initially decided to lose weight, Jon tried by cutting down his food intake - but often felt exhausted

Jon hits the gym. Jon, now a personal trainer, says he's achieved his dream body by carefully altering training and diet to gain muscle and get lean - not by counting calories
'This can result in making you feel tired, irritated and generally lowers mood and motivation. These things can of course have a knock-on effect on everything.
'In the extreme, eating less could even lead to malnutrition, resulting in unhealthy weight loss and nutrient deficiencies.'
He added:  'People should try to think more about what they're eating and how often rather than how much.
'Try and treat your body like an engine; without the right fuel you won't perform at your best.'

Owner/chef of B52 Cafe left law to open vegan cafe

DEBORAH WEISBERG | Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

Mika darts sits on a table inside of B52 Cafe in Lawrenceville on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017.

The ingredients for mika darts are laid out inside of the kitchen of B52 Cafe in Lawrenceville on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017.

The fried onions lay on the counter inside the kitchen of B52 Cafe in Lawrenceville on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017.

Owner and Chef Omar Abuhejleh poses for a portrait inside of B52 Cafe in Lawrenceville on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017.

Owner and Chef Omar Abuhejleh poses for a portrait with the dish mika darts in front of him inside of B52 Cafe in Lawrenceville on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017.
Fried onions lay on the counter as Omar Abuhejleh fries fresh onions during the making of mika darts inside of the kitchen of B52 Cafe in Lawrenceville on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017.

B52 Vegan Cafe
Hours: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays (espresso bar opens at 8 a.m., with full menu available at 9 a.m.); 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays
Cuisine: Middle Eastern-American fusion vegan
Prices: Salads, $12; sandwiches, $18; soup, $4.50; platters, $6 (serves one) to $30 (serves six); small plates, $4.50; flatbreads, $6 and $7; espressos, $2.25 to $5.25.
Where: 5202 Butler St., Lawrenceville
Details: 412-408-3988 or
Sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Omar Abuhejleh's passion for cooking began in his mother's kitchen and grew as he traveled the world, living in Los Angeles, Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East.
It continued even during college and law school where, unlike most students who subsist on campus food and take-out, Abuhejleh preferred to make his own meals, thus sharpening his culinary skills.
After moving to Pittsburgh for law school, he eventually bought Allegro Hearth Bakery in Squirrel Hill, and recently launched a second venture — B52 in Lawrenceville — a vegan cafe that blends Abuhejleh's growing interest in animal welfare and his affinity for Middle Eastern cuisine.
“I wanted to create something new that I enjoy … to cook things I like to eat,” says Abuhejleh, 45, who left his law practice to become a full-time restaurateur. Located at 5202 Butler St., B52 serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, and has a full-service espresso bar. Everything is meat- and dairy-free and made from scratch, including hand-pressed almond milk, cashew cheese, a spicy, roasted red pepper sauce (harissa) and hand-dipped chocolates.
“I stopped eating meat about 12 years ago, when I realized that I can exist and be healthy and be satisfied and not consume animal products,” says Abuhejleh, who, when he lived abroad, experienced slaughtering lamb for Muslim holiday meals — a practice he found jarring, “Watching the life go out of an animal affected me, and I didn't enjoy eating the meat.”
The B52 menu offers classic platters of hummus, falafel, labneh, fried cauliflower and fried tomatoes; flatbreads (manakish) served with accompaniments such as mixed herbs (za'atar) or shitake mushrooms; seitan- and tofu-based sandwiches; soups such as lentil and butternut squash, and salads that include a Mediterranean slaw made with pickled turnips and tahini.
Abuhejleh features fermented items such as daikan napa cabbage, yogurt and kombucha, a lightly effervescent tea. “The main reason is that fermented flavor tastes good, but fermented foods are healthy, too,” he says.
Abduhejleh developed most of the recipes himself, incorporating organic herbs such as cilantro, parsley and dill into many of his dishes, and smoking the eggplant for baba ghannouj over applewood chips in-house. One of his go-to spices is cardamom, which is commonly used in the Middle East, even in coffee. Abduhejleh infuses it into B52's nitro cold-brew coffee.
B52 attracts a mixed crowd, including meat-eaters who are curious or looking for a change of pace, says Abduhejleh, who often steers them to dishes like Kofta Tofu Scramble, which uses seitan — a dense, chewy product made with high-protein wheat.
Abduhejleh worked with architect Jason Roth to create a welcoming interior that features a decorative tin ceiling, retro-tile and Courtesan oak floor, quartzite countertops at the espresso bar, and walnut and shoji-paper pendant lanterns by local sculptor Isaac Bower of Polish Hill.
Deborah Weisberg is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.
This classic Middle Eastern dish has ancient origins and is a delicious alternative to meat, says Abuhejleh, noting that it also is economical. “You can make this recipe for four for about a buck.”
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup green lentils
1 cup Basmati rice
1 34 teaspoons salt
34 teaspoons cumin
14 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
18 teaspoons cardamom (optional)
Approximately 3 cups water
Optional garnish of crispy fried onion
1 onion, julienned-diced
To prepare mujadarra: In a small pot, fry diced onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil for approximately 15 minutes, add salt and spices, and fry for another 5 minutes.
Rinse lentils and add to pot with 2 12 cups water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 30 minutes. Rinse rice and add to pot with lentils and onions. Add approximately 12 cup water, or just enough to cover rice and lentils. (How much water you add at this point depends on how much water boiled off while cooking lentils.)
Cover pot, bring to a boil, lower to simmer and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and fluff.To prepare optional garnish: Fry julienned-diced onion in saute pan with enough olive oil to cover on medium heat for approximately 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside to drain on a paper towel.You can also pour 1-2 tablespoons of oil used for frying on mujadarra.

World Bank sees Philippine rice output rising 2%

Posted on January 26, 2017

PHILIPPINE PRODUCTION of agricultural products is expected to have increased in 2016-2017, including a nearly 2% increase in rice output, according to data from the World Bank.

Rice production is expected to increase nearly 2% in 2016-2017, driven by favorable growing conditions in Indonesia, Thailand (the world’s top rice exporter), and the Philippines. -- World Bank’s January 2017 Commodity Markets Outlook – AFP

According to the bank’s January 2017 Commodity Markets Outlook, “Rice production is expected to increase nearly 2% in 2016-2017, driven by favorable growing conditions in Indonesia, Thailand (the world’s top rice exporter), and the Philippines.”The Philippines ranks 8th in rice output and is seen to produce 11.5 million metric tons (MT) of rice or 2.3958% of the world production in 2016-2017, increasing from last year’s 11.4 million MT of rice produced in the country.

Leading the countries in rice production is China, followed by India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar.Meanwhile, Philippine imports of rice are projected to fall to 1.3 million MT in 2016-2017 from 1.6 million MT in 2015-2016.

The Philippines ranks 2nd in maize production at 114.1 million MT or 10.99% of the world’s maize production.
According to World Bank, “combined global supply of wheat, maize, and rice are projected to reach 2,838 million MT during the 2016-2017 season, nearly 5% higher than last season’s record supplies.”“These projections, which are highly likely to materialize given that the season is at an advanced stage, implying that 2016-2017 will be the fourth consecutive surplus year,” according to the report.The Philippines also continues to lead in coconut oil production, taking up over 35% of world output in 2016-2017.

The World Bank expects the Philippines to recover in coconut oil production in 2016-2017 after a slump in 2015-2016.Coconut oil production is expected to have increased to 1.0 million MT in 2016-2017 from the 909,000 MT in 2015-2016, which was lower than 1.099 million a year earlier.
Indonesia accounts for nearly 32% of global coconut oil output. A far 3rd is India with over 13%.

Coconut oil consumption is also expected to increase to 219,000 MT in 2016-2017 from 187,000 MT in 2015-2016.Meanwhile, the Philippines ranks 5th in coffee consumption. The country consumed 5.875 million 60kg coffee bags in 2016-2017.The Philippines is also a strong consumer of wheat, ranking 5th in wheat consumption.
According to World Bank data, the Philippines consumed 5.875 million 60kg bags of wheat or 3.83 of the world’s wheat consumption in 2016-2017. --
 Danica M. U

Rice Station specialist earns award