Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hamid Malik Innovation Summit 2017 - 8 -9 March 2017

15th March,2017 daily global,regional and local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Regional Conservation Partnership Program:  What's New for Rice 
Interview with USA Rice Stewardship Partnership Coordinator Josh Hankins
USA Rice Daily:  What's new in the RCPP program?
Josh Hankins:  The 2014 Farm Bill authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create the conservation program known as the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).  Since its inception, the RCPP has had four rounds of funding opportunities available for public and private entities.  Acquiring this funding is a very competitive process, and to be successful requires a partnership willing to invest money, manpower, and materials in an innovative initiative to expand voluntary, private lands conservation.  

USA Rice, through the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership, had initial success with a 2015 RCPP project, Sustaining the Future of Rice, across all six major rice-growing states.  The Partnership is in the process of completing that $10 million-project with hundreds of rice farmers expected to sign Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contracts throughout the three-year life of its funding.

The most recent funding round brought in $15 million for two projects, one led by the Lower Colorado River Authority in Texas, and another led by USA Rice in the Mid-South.  Both are incentivizing the implementation of working lands conservation programs targeting ricelands and neither would have been possible without the work of the Stewardship Partnership.

The USA Rice led program will have two application periods for funding across four states in the Mid-South.  The first will be an EQIP offering, with the application process beginning later this year.  The second will be a CSP offering, which will begin rolling out in 2018.    

Daily:  Can you share a success story or two?
JH:  Our programs have three core areas of focus:  water management, nutrient management, and winter habitat for wildlife.  On the water management side, participants are encouraged to actively manage irrigation water, challenging them to rethink how they've irrigated in the past and facilitating the adoption of new techniques - something as simple as monitoring water depth on the fields with a float, recording pump duration and flow rates, and monitoring and recording rainfall during the irrigation season.  

In most states participating in the program, we have implemented the program for one irrigation season.  A rice farmer from Louisiana reports that the voluntary monitoring program allows him to take irrigation data he's never had before, compare it to fuel and energy costs for moving water, and have a benchmark to improve upon for this coming irrigation season to help save money, something that would not have occurred without the voluntary program. 
On the wildlife habitat side, an Arkansas rice farmer captured rainfall on a field that has never been flooded during the winter months to provide migratory bird habitat, and recently sent photographs and video (above) of the field covered in ducks all thanks to RCPP.   

Daily:  Where will the next big farmer success story come from?
JH:  The new irrigation technology being deployed can efficiently measure all inputs during the growing season, decrease the risk of mismanaging water and nutrients, and lower input costs and management time - but none of it has spent much time in rice fields.  Our RCPP team of field staff is helping farmers navigate the implementation of this new technology, and as more farmers adopt it, more companies will begin manufacturing it, which will lead to lower prices and more options available.  When that occurs we will start to see major changes across the Mid-South on how crops are irrigated.   Our RCPP is a much needed shot in the arm to help expedite this process.      

Daily:  How can farmers learn about the different programs available to them?
JH:  Your local Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) field offices are vital to the success of RCPP projects.  My suggestion is get to know your local District Conservationist and the office staff; stop in and ask about their Conservation Planning services, that's a great place to start.  They are often very familiar with the RCPP offerings in their areas, and can also help educate producers on other available programs.  Our USA Rice and DU team is another great resource.  We have worked hard to make these partnership programs a success, and that's something rice farmers can get excited about and participate in.

Surface ozone pollution damages rice production in China

March 14, 2017 by Pat Bailey
Description: rice
Credit: Earth100/Wikipeidia
High levels of surface ozone are damaging rice yields at an alarming rate in China, the world's largest agricultural producer and one of its most polluted nations, report researchers at the University of California, Davis, and in China.
For the first time, the research team identified a specific stage of the rice plant's development as being vulnerable to ozone pollution, which they warn has the potential to impact the international rice market and compromise global food security.
"As ozone levels increase in China, this form of pollution threatens to not only decrease the nation's rice production but also affect the broad, global rice market," said the study's lead author Colin Carter, a professor of agricultural and resource economics at UC Davis.
"In order to better design regulatory policies that help alleviate ozone pollution and protect China's rice crop, it's essential to develop a better understanding of the complex relationship between ozone and rice production," said Carter, whose research has for many years focused on China's grain markets.
Findings from the new study are reported today in Nature's Scientific Reports.
Rice production in China
Rice is China's most important agricultural crop. In 2015, China's rice crop was 206.4 million metric tons, 30 percent of the global crop that year.
Although it is aiming to achieve 95 percent self-sufficiency in rice, China is now the world's largest rice importer and is expected to continue in that position for the next decade.
Around the world, most rice is consumed within the countries where it is grown, leaving only 8 percent of global rice production to be traded internationally in an average year. This causes the price of rice sold on the international market to be extremely sensitive to small changes in production.
Ozone pollution and rice productivity
Surface ozone refers to the ozone found in the troposphere—Earth's lowest atmospheric layer extending about 20 kilometers, or nearly 12.5 miles, above sea level. This surface ozone lies below "the ozone layer," which occurs in the Earth's stratosphere, or upper atmosphere.
With China's rapid growth and development in recent decades, more vehicles, power plants and refineries have been emitting nitrogen oxides—the chemical building blocks for atmospheric ozone.
For this study, the researchers examined existing air quality data as well as rice yield statistics from the 2006, 2008 and 2010 growing seasons in five provinces of Southeast China.
The researchers designed their model to take into account annual variations such as weather, fertilizer use and natural disasters, which also could impact rice yield. They found that for every additional day when the surface ozone level topped 120 parts per billion, there was a 1.12 percent loss in rice yield, compared to every additional day when surface ozone was less than 60 parts per billion.
"If this level of rice yield reduction occurred throughout all of China, it would lead to the loss of about 2 million metric tons of rice annually, which equals about one-third of China's current annual rice imports," Carter said.
Seasonal timing key to ozone's rice crop damage
Interestingly, the researchers discovered that the harmful effects of ozone pollution were not the same for every stage of the rice plant's development. In fact, the increased levels of ozone only led to rice yield reductions during the time when the rice plants were forming their "panicles," the flowering spikes at the tip of the rice stalks, where the grain eventually forms.
"This is important because it indicates that regulatory policies can be most effective in protecting rice yields if they address the period of time when rice plants are in the panicle-formation stage of growth," Carter said.
More information: Colin A. Carter et al. Stage-specific, Nonlinear Surface Ozone Damage to Rice Production in China, Scientific Reports (2017). DOI: 10.1038/srep44224 

Piñol urges North Cotabato farmers to plant hybrid rice

The Department of Agriculture (DA) urged farmers in North Cotabato to use hybrid seeds to increase their paddy-rice production and help the government attain its sufficiency goal by 2020.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol recently visited North Cotabato to attend the fourth National Rice Technology Forum held in M’lang. Piñol was joined by rice experts who helped him promote the use of hybrid seeds.
The promotion of hybrid rice seeds is one of the strategies being pursued by the DA to increase paddy rice output, Piñol told participants during the opening program.
Aside from the use of hybrid-rice seeds, Piñol said the government would implement three other strategies: access to credit/loans; access to right marketing; and the provision of postharvest facilities.“To determine which [hybrid-rice] variety produces more yield per hectare, the DA will launch a rice derby contenst,” he said.
The result, Piñol said, would serve as the government’s guide as to what variety to distribute to farmers. In line with this initiative, he said the DA has forged partnership with private seed companies to assist in technology transfer.
To provide easy access to credit and financial assistance, he said the DA has proposed to Congress the enactment of a Quick Credit Facility (QCF) that will help both farmers and fishermen. Under the QCF, farmers and fishermen may avail a P25,000 per hectare financial assistance.“The DA, through the Agricultural Credit and Policy Council, has also launched the Survival and Recovery [SURE] Assistance Program for calamity-stricken farmers and fishermen. SURE does not require collateral, has zero interest, and is payable in three years,” Piñol said.
He said the DA will also organize rice farmers into “highly functioning organizations” and assist them in setting-up farmer-owned rice outlets in key areas. “Through this strategy, the DA aims to eliminate unnecessary layers in the market system.”
In his message, Piñol said “the government will not give equipment which does not work and which you [farmers] do not need.”
As such, the DA will prioritize the distribution of “useful and efficient” postharvest facilities.
Aside from distributing agriculture machinery, the DA is seeking a P20-billion budget next year for the distribution of solar irrigation system, which forms part of the rice expansion program for 2017.
“The DA has to irrigate 80,000 hectares every year to be able to feed the growing number of Filipinos,” Piñol said.
An additional 20,000 hectare to 30,000 hectare expansion program is targeted for 2018

S.Korea buys 100,000 T of rice for May-June arrival

Reuters | Mar 14, 2017, 02.35 PM IST
SEOUL, March 14 (Reuters) - South Korea bought a total of 100,000 tonnes of non-glutinous rice for arrival between May and June, according to state-run Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp website on Tuesday ( The state-run agency purchased the rice products via a tender that closed on March 7.

Details of the purchase are as follows: TONNES(M/T) GRAIN TYPE SUPPLIER PRICE/T 10,000 Brown Short THE GROUND KOREA $820.90 20,000 Brown Short THE GROUND KOREA $827.90 10,000 Brown Long Posco Daewoo Corp $418.88 22,222 Brown Medium Philasun Co Ltd $636.52 15,556 Brown Medium Philasun Co Ltd $642.30 11,111 Brown Medium Posco Daewoo Corp $605.60 11,111 Brown Medium Sinsong Food Corp $594.33 *Note: The state-run agency bought the brown medium rice products from the U.S., the brown short rice from Vietnam and the brown long rice from Thailand. (Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Sunil Nair) As Drought Slashes Rice Harvest, 900,000 Face Hunger in Sri Lanka

March 13, 2017 9:43 PM

Description: FILE - A laborer tries to open a door at a store room as he carries sacks of rice near a main market in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Feb. 21, 2017.
FILE - A laborer tries to open a door at a store room as he carries sacks of rice near a main market in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Feb. 21, 2017.
The worst drought in five years has pushed 900,000 people in Sri Lanka into acute food insecurity, the World Food Program (WFP) says.
An unpublished survey conducted by government agencies and relief organizations in February found that both food insecurity and debt were rising sharply among families hit by drought, the WFP office in Sri Lanka confirmed to Reuters.
The country's rice harvest could be the worst in 40 years, charity Save the Children predicted. The just-completed harvest was 63 percent below normal, it said.
The survey found that over one-third of the drought-affected households had seen their income drop by half since September, and 60 percent of the households surveyed were in debt.
The average amount of debt was about 180,000 Sri Lankan rupees, or $1,200, WFP said.
The survey findings are expected to be formally released later this month.
Sri Lanka's government said over 1.2 million people have been affected by the country's current drought, which began last November and continues despite some occasional rainfall over the last two months.
Save the Children estimates that over 600,000 of those affected — two-thirds of the total — are children.
The Western and Northern Provinces have been worst hit, with over 400,000 people struggling with drought in each province.
Rice harvest halved
Government and WFP assessments suggest Sri Lanka's 2017 rice harvest could be less than half the 3 million metric tons recorded last year.The government has already taken steps to increase rice imports to stave off shortages, Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said.
"We have a shortfall in the rice harvest. We have been taking action to prevent any shortfalls and will allow for tax-free rice imports until the harvest recovers," he said.
Worst-affected by the drought have been farmers and those relying on agricultural work for income. The joint WFP and government survey indicated that one out of five farmers and one out of four farm laborers is now classified as food insecure in the drought region.
Preliminary data in the survey also indicated that female-headed households in drought areas were faring worse than others, with almost 20 percent reporting "poor" to "borderline" ability to access enough food as a result of the drought.
Yapa said that the government was devising a plan to help those affected and "we will begin cash assistance very soon."
The initial plan is to provide 500,000 persons with cash assistance, he said. The government has so far set aside 8 billion rupees ($52 million) for cash-for-work programs in drought-hit areas.
Over 50 million rupees ($300,000) has been allocated to distribute water to affected populations in 22 of the island's 25 districts, he said.
The drought is expected to continue into April, according to seasonal forecasting by the Meteorological Department.
"The big rains will come with the next monsoon," which is expected to arrive in late May, said Lalith Chandrapala, director general of the Meteorological Department

UN Pushes 'Smart Crops' as Rice Alternative to Tackle Hunger in Asia

March 14, 2017 10:40 PM

FILE - A worker carries a bale of dry millet at a field on the outskirts of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, Nov. 17, 2011.
Description: FILE - A worker carries a bale of dry millet at a field on the outskirts of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, Nov. 17, 2011.
Asia needs to make extra efforts to defeat hunger after progress has slowed in the last five years, including promoting so-called "smart crops" as an alternative to rice, the head of the U.N. food agency in the region said.
Kundhavi Kadiresan, representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Asia, said the region needs to focus on reaching the most marginalized people, such as the very poor or those living in mountainous areas.
The Asia-Pacific region halved the number of hungry people from 1990 to 2015 but the rate of progress slowed in many countries - such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Cambodia - in the last five years, according to a December FAO report.
"The last mile is always difficult.. so extra efforts, extra resources and more targeted interventions are needed," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the sidelines of a business forum on food security in Jakarta on Tuesday.
She said government and businesses needed to develop policies to help make food more affordable, while changing Asians' diets that rely heavily on rice.
"We have focused so much on rice that we haven't really looked at some of those crops like millets, sorghum and beans," she said.
A campaign is underway to promote these alternatives as "smart crops" to make them more attractive, Kadiresan said.
"We are calling them smart crops to get people not to think about them as poor people's food but smart people's food," she said, adding that they are not only nutritious but also more adaptable to climate change.
Soaring rice prices, slowing economic expansion and poorer growth in agricultural productivity have been blamed for the slowdown in efforts to tackle hunger.
More than 60 percent of the world's hungry are in Asia-Pacific, while nearly one out of three children in the region suffers from stunting, according to the FAO.
Achieving zero hunger by 2030 is one of the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals adopted by member states in 2015

Checks for rice exporters


More than 40 rice millers have applied for quality checks to allow for export to China but most have not yet reached a high enough standard, the Agriculture Ministry said.
Applications were received in a second call for expressions of interest after 28 millers gained certification in the first round.Hean Vanhan, director-general of the ministry’s general directorate of agriculture, said most of the millers have not done enough preparation for the quality checks.

“The Agriculture Ministry will conduct a workshop this month to help them learn about the policies and preparation for the checks,” he said.“We want to help them pass the inspections for quality checks made by our officials and Chinese experts.”He added that the ministry will send officials to check rice millers’ quality three weeks after the workshop.
Mr. Vanhan said he was not sure how long the quality checks by local officials and Chinese experts would take, but said millers which passed in the second round will join the other 28 in shipping 200,000 metric tons a year to China.He also said that millers who failed in the first round are among the 40.

The ministry started their inspection of 60 millers in October, and in November, a group of Chinese experts inspected the quality and safety of the 28 successful rice mills during a week-long visit in Cambodia. All of them passed.But only 18 of them were given priority to export rice to China due to their experience of Chinese markets, according to Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF).
“After a discussion between the Chinese company COFCO, CRF, and Green Trade from December, in Beijing, three parties agreed to allow the first 18 local rice mills to start fulfilling the export quota as most of these companies have experience exporting rice to China in the past,” Hun Lak, CRF vice president said previously.

China tops the biggest markets for Cambodia’s milled rice last year, with the country’s total 542,144 metric tons, 127,000 metric tons of which were shipped to China.Cambodian milled rice exports reached 109,000 metric tons in the first two months this year, up 14 percent over a year before, according to the ministry’s month report. Of this, 46,000 metric tons were sent to China.

Venezuelan rice ship sinking offshore Essequibo

The coast guard and other relevant authorities are still investigating the matter of a ship that began sinking a few miles off the Essequibo Coast around Wednesday of last week.
The ship is currently going down approximately two miles off the shore of the Devonshire Castle Hampton Court area on the Essequibo Coast.Investigations revealed that the vessel of Venezuelan origin was transporting rice back to that country at the time of the incident. According to local fishermen, the stern of the vessel is currently under water whilst the bow remains afloat. It is believed that the ship sprang a leak whilst out on the ocean. Due to high tides and enormous waves, the vessel was washed closer to shore. The crew on board the vessel (all Venezuelan nationals) was rescued without any serious casualties. Though a huge quantity of the rice was destroyed by salt water, it was reported that those rescuing the crew were also helping themselves to the rice on board.

Since the new administration took office in 2015 the Oil for Rice agreement between Guyana and Venezuela came reached its conclusion. Though the leaders of these two countries refuse to renew the agreement, the citizens of both Venezuela and Guyana continue to collaborate behind the scenes. In secrecy Guyanese continue to provide food for Venezuelans, and Venezuelans continue to provide fuel for Guyanese.
However these recent mishaps do not appear to be a coincidence. Just last month another vessel smuggling fuel to Guyana was confiscated.


Sunken vessel had been reported in distress earlier this month- MARAD official

The wreckage of a vessel which sank last week off the Essequibo Coast reportedly laden with rice for Venezuela.

Description: Venezuela-flagged vessel  had been seen listing offshore Essequibo since earlier this month, but apparently it had not been located by Guyanese officials
Director General of the Maritime Administration, Claudette Rogers told Demerara Waves Online News that her entity was notified on March 9 that the MV Dona Marta was listing (leaning) and contact was made with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Coast Guard.
Sources said the Venezuelan crew members are all safe.

Based on preliminary information gleaned, the vessel did not report its arrival or departure from Guyanese waters , and only sounded a distress call when it was sinking.All vessels entering and leaving Guyana’s waters are required to report to the Lighthouse.Rogers stressed that the focus now is to establish the coordinates of the wreck, located off Walton Hall/ Devonshire Castle villages, and dispatch a notice to all mariners for safety reasons.

One of the rice exporters, Wazeer Hussain, told Demerara Waves Online News that more than one rice exporters’ cargo was aboard the MV Dona Marta. Hussein said he had about 100 tons of grain aboard the vessel. Hussain said he was told that Venezuelan officials are expected to visit the partly submerged vessel.The MV Dona Marta was shipping rice from Guyana to Venezuela under a private arrangement, although the bilateral rice-fuel barter between the two countries was scrapped in 2015 at the height of a row over that Spanish-speaking neighbour’s claim to Essequibo and the Atlantic sea off that region


Average Price of 1kg of Rice Increased by 68% YoY in February 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 10:03 AM/NBS

Selected food price watch data for February 2016 reflected that the average price of 1 dozen of Agric eggs medium size increased year-on-year by 53.33% and month-on-month by 1.40% to N520.16 in February 2017 from N512.99 in January 2017 while the average price of piece of Agric eggs medium size increased year-on-year by 43.03% and decreased month-on-month by 9.52% to N42.90 in February 2017 from N47.42 in January 2017.
Description: Proshare

The average price of 1kg of tomato increased year-on-year by 13.13% and decreased month-on-month by 4.41% to N236.62 in February 2017 from N247.55 in January 2017.

The average price of 1kg of rice (imported high quality sold loose) increased year-on-year by 68.10% and month-on-month by 2.13% to N410.58 in February 2017 from N402.01 in January 2017.

Similarly, the average price of 1kg of yam tuber increased year-on-year by 43.92% and month-on-month by 2.36% to N215.55 in February 2017 from N210.58 in January 2017
Iraqi Experiences Increased Production of Rice and Sunflower production in 2016

In a report, the rice production for 2016 reached 181.3 thousand tons, while the sunflower production reached to 0.9 thousand tons.

Baghdad/ Iraq TradeLink: Iraqi Statistics Department announced the increase in rice and sunflower
production for 2016.

In a report, the rice production for 2016 reached 181.3 thousand tons, while the sunflower production reached to 0.9 thousand tons.In 2008, Iraq initiated the Agricultural initiative to develop agriculture in the country with a time limit of 10 years to reach self-sufficiency in the strategic products
In a report, the rice production for 2016 reached 181.3 thousand tons, while the sunflower production reached to 0.9 thousand tons.Baghdad/ Iraq TradeLink: Iraqi Statistics Department announced the increase in rice and sunflower
production for 2016.
In a report, the rice production for 2016 reached 181.3 thousand tons, while the sunflower production reached to 0.9 thousand tons.In 2008, Iraq initiated the Agricultural initiative to develop agriculture in the country with a time limit of 10 years to reach self-sufficiency in the strategic products

Boiling down the basics of rice

Gholam Rahman
12:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 14, 2017  Dining

Bought in big bags from Costco, we use basmati rice for our daily use – plain rice or pilaf.Photo by GHOLAM RAHMAN
Description: many aspects of life, as well as in cooking, it often happens that what we nonchalantly take to be a simple and everyday job turns out in reality to be not so simple at all, that is if you want to do it well. There is actually a phrase in my dual mother tongues of Urdu and Bengali for such a sans-souci stance – “Daal-Bhaat,” which means cooking lentils and rice, what people in my erstwhile home in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent do every day, almost by rote.
It is the rice half that I am really talking about today, an item that Americans also are embracing more and more. You would think what could be simpler than boiling a pot of rice? But to do it well, so that the grains stand separate while cooked fully, it takes a bit of know-how and patience. Mind you I am not talking about sticky rice, which by its very name is intended to turn lumpy, but about the Indian aromatic and long-grain basmati, billed as the Champagne of rices. Or even even American long-grain rices for that matter.
There are two basic ways of cooking rice: the first, the absorption method, in which all the liquid gets absorbed into the grains by the time they are cooked; the second, the lots-of-water method, in which you cook with the pot filled with water and when the grains test done, the excess water is fully drained – somewhat like cooking pasta.
We always do it the second way, not just because it is easier and more foolproof, but because it helps minimize the arsenic residue that is found in almost all raw rice, although basmati from the Indian subcontinent has much lesser amount of arsenic as compared with most American rice. This chemical’s presence actually comes from the soil’s natural characteristics rather than any chicanery by the growers or sellers.
We eat rice perhaps four to five days a week, on the average, but only for lunch, mostly plain boiled rice with vegetables, daal, chicken, fish and beef – probably in that order – curried in various ways. But the rice is always basmati, a bit more expensive perhaps. To cut cost, we buy the 20-pound bag from Costco. Here is how we cook it – mostly my wife Kaisari, one of the long list of graduates from my sainted Mom’s “cooking school.”
1½ to 2 cups basmati rice
About 10 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1. Soak the rice in large bowl with enough water to cover by a couple of inches for 30 to 60 minutes. With both hands, swish and scrub the rice, then wash it in several changes of water until the water runs clear. Drain and put the rice in a large heavy nonstick or stainless-steel pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and oil. Add the water and stir.
2. Raise heat and bring the pot to a rolling boil. Reduce heat, give the pot a stir to set the grains in a circular swirl and let the rice cook at a smart simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes, giving it a circular stir a couple of times.
3. Test a few rice grains every 20 to 30 seconds after the first 6 minutes; the rice is done when the grains offer just a bit of resistance to the teeth but have no gritty feel at the core. Drain in a large wire strainer or colander with small holes. Serve hot. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
If you use rice often – even though not as frequently as we do – I wouldn’t advise you to use the absorption method to avoid arsenic. Of course an exception is the pilaf, which is always cooked by the absorption method; but then who eats pilaf so often?

Problems continuing with Burma seed paddy
By STAFF WRITER March 14, 2017
Dear Editor,
I hope this letter can reach the eyes of the Government, the Minister of Agriculture and the Chairman and Board of Directors of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB).
Farmers continue to face grave problems with the seed paddy purchased from the GRDB, Burma Rice Research Station over the past year.
On numerous occasions several hundred bags of seed paddy purchased from the GRDB, Burma Rice Research Station did not germinate or if it germinated the % germination was far below the requisite levels. When this happens the farmers suffer the losses or the board suffers the loss in revenue.
It is alleged that in the seed production, standard operating procedures were not adhered to resulting in either the seeds not being harvested at the correct time from the fields, at the correct moisture content, or dried and stored properly leading to damage of the embryo in the seed.
Further, the required labels on the bags to tell the quality of seed paddy and % germination of the seed lot were totally absent. So farmers do not have an option but to accept what was in the bag. Fortunately I had a close examination of the poor germinating seed paddy and saw evidence of a large amount of shelled grains, broken grains, pieces of clay soil and discoloured grains present in the bags of seed paddy sold as C1 and C11 grade.
The time has come for the Government, the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Noel Holder, the Chairman and Board of Directors of GRDB to get involved and seriously look into this present situation and stop taking these lame excuses as to why the seed paddy quality provided to farmers is not up to standard from the Burma Rice Research Station since the board is spending large sums of money om seed paddy production every year.

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address supplied)

Rice Research To Production Course 2017!

An amazing opportunity to learn all aspects of rice production at the International Rice Research Institute.Stay tuned here for updates and deadlines to apply:
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USA Rice presents to research board


Ward provided the board with the financial report and results of the audits for all five organizations overseen by USA Rice, and also gave an update on opportunities and challenges the U.S. rice industry faces, including the impact of priorities coming out of the Trump Administration on trade, food aid and the upcoming Farm Bill.
USA staff Betsy Ward, Michael Klein,and Hugh Maginnis presented the annual USA Rice Council report to the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board (ARRPB) last week.
Ward provided the board with the financial report and results of the audits for all five organizations overseen by USA Rice, and also gave an update on opportunities and challenges the U.S. rice industry faces, including the impact of priorities coming out of the Trump Administration on trade, food aid and the upcoming Farm Bill. Klein shared highlights of recent domestic promotion activities, including chef farm and mill tours that have resulted in U.S.-grown rice being called out on restaurant menus, while Maginnis reported on international markets and programs, including an active tender in Iraq and increasing market access in markets such as Colombia and Haiti.

The ARRPB is made up of nine rice producers who are nominated by industry organizations and appointed to two-year terms by the governor. The board is responsible for allocating Arkansas rice promotion and research check-off funds annually, and for the past 30 plus years, the ARRPB has awarded promotion funds to the USA Rice Council in recognition of the exemplary work performed by the Council on behalf of Arkansas rice farmers.
"I appreciated the opportunity to report on work made possible by the financial resources entrusted to us by Arkansas," Ward said. "On behalf of USA Rice, I also want to thank the Arkansas rice farmers and industry members who serve on the USA Rice Council board and on USA Rice domestic and international promotion committees. Their participation is vital to USA Rice's member-driven process for program development and implementation."
After the presentations on promotion results and USA Rice financials, the ARRPB approved the USA Rice Council's request for funding in the fiscal year Aug. 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018.

Innovation on show at rice research event

Description: The field day at Description: LEARNING ALL ABOUT IT: Participants at the recent Rice Field Day in Jerilderie were able to gain plenty from the experience. Photo: Contributed Description: The field day at
LEARNING ALL ABOUT IT: Participants at the recent Rice Field Day in Jerilderie were able to gain plenty from the experience. Photo: Contributed

INNOVATION within the rice industry was on show at the industry’s premier research showcase event. A rice field day at “Old Coree” in Jerilderie was held last week, with more than 350 rice growers and agribusiness professionals attending. 
The theme for 2017 was “Tradition, Technology, Productivity – A Balancing Act”. 
Participants said the event was beneficial to their business and reflected the importance of continual innovation in the rice industry.The event is held annually and is designed to showcase the latest in rice research and technological advancements in rice growing. For the second consecutive year it also included a business and innovation forum. 
Rice Research and Development Committee chairman Ian Mason said the event was structured to reflect the importance maintaining and increasing grower profitability. 
“Some of the highlights this year at the field day included the latest information on rice R&D, innovation, new perspectives on agriculture and a SunRice grower update,” he said. 
“R&D topics such as the evolution to aerobic rice and remote sensing for nitrogen management were covered throughout the morning’s field visits and proved to be of interest to growers who attended.“This is a very important date for rice growers every year and this year we had a fantastic range of speakers to assist Australian rice growers to be smarter farmers and better equipped to make decisions, both in the paddock and the office.”One of the day’s presenters, Brian Dunn, spoke of remote sensing for nitrogen management.
“The day was a great opportunity to interact with growers and discuss some of the innovative uses growers can use drones for,” he said.
“The use of drones and remote sensing in agriculture is promising many benefits, but it is important that their use can provide increased productivity and profitability in the rice industry.”A cooking demonstration of a simple, healthy and quick Mediterranean chicken with rice and quinoa by television cook, Zoe Bingley-Pullin was also enjoyed.