Thursday, April 27, 2017

27th April,2017 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Pakistan urges Iran to lift tariff, non-tariff barriers
Enhancing exports

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has urged Iran to lift tariff and non-tariff barriers on Pakistani products including rice and citrus.National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq made this request to Iranian President Hassan Rohani during his meeting with him in Tehran, said a press release issued by the National Assembly Secretariat on Monday. Sadiq also urged the Iranian president to turn the fraternal relations between the two countries into a mutually benefiting partnership. The NA speaker called for enhancing the trade volume, which currently stands at a considerably low level of mere $500 million. “The two countries have immense potential and can help each other in areas like energy, petroleum products, agriculture, citrus and fruit trade, surgical equipment and defence,” he added.
The over one hour meeting with President Rohani was termed “the president’s special gesture for Pakistan” given the fact that presidential elections have been announced in Iran and President Rohani made himself available for the meeting at a critical election drive.
Sadiq stressed Pakistan’s policy of unity among the Muslim world and assured President Rohani that Pakistan would never take any step that could go against the interest of the brotherly country of Iran. “Our region is worst affected by terrorism. We must pool our resources to jointly curb this menace, which is not only affecting our progress but also threatening our future generations,” he added.
While referring to the recent news reports on the brutalities of Indian forces in the Indian occupied Kashmir, the speaker asked Iran to play its role in the early implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions for the prompt settlement of the Kashmir dispute as per the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
President Rohani, while agreeing with the speaker, stated that the two countries should take benefit of the complementarities enjoyed by the two countries and forge cooperation where they can benefit from each-other’s comparative advantage. He showed immense interest in Iran’s joining the CPEC project.
Both sides expressed satisfaction on the recently concluded banking agreement, which would pave the way for expanded bilateral trade between the two countries through the banking channels. It is pertinent to mention here that the bilateral payment agreement (BPA) was signed between Pakistan and Iran last week in Tehran. The two leaders also took stock of the advancements in the completion of Pakistan-Iran Gas pipeline.
The Iranian president was introduced to the Pakistani delegation comprising MNAs Shahbaz Babar, Najaf Sial, Nadeem Abbas Rabhera, Ali Gohar Khan Mehr, Syed Ayaz Ali Shah Sherazi, Khyal Zaman Orakzai and Saman Sultana Jafari.

Farmers in SW China busy with planting rice as spring comes
Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/4/27 9:53:25
Farmers work in the field in Shuiduichong Village of Jinhe Township in Jinping Miao, Yao and Dai Autonomous County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, April 26, 2017. As spring comes, farmers here are busy with planting rice. (Xinhua/Chen Haining)

Farmers work in the field in Shuiduichong Village of Jinhe Township in Jinping Miao, Yao and Dai Autonomous County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, April 26, 2017. As spring comes, farmers here are busy with planting rice. (Xinhua/Chen Haining)

Farmers work in the field in Gantang Village of Jinhe Township in Jinping Miao, Yao and Dai Autonomous County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, April 26, 2017. As spring comes, farmers here are busy with planting rice. (Xinhua/Chen Haining)

Terraced fields are seen in Gantang Village of Jinhe Township in Jinping Miao, Yao and Dai Autonomous County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, April 26, 2017. As spring comes, farmers here are busy with planting rice. (Xinhua/Chen Haining)

Farmers work in the field in Shuiduichong Village of Jinhe Township in Jinping Miao, Yao and Dai Autonomous County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, April 26, 2017. As spring comes, farmers here are busy with planting rice. (Xinhua/Chen Haining)

Bumper harvest under way

APRIL 26, 2017

The largest Riverina rice harvest in three years is under way, with SunRice expecting more than 800000 tonnes to be harvested.

The largest Riverina rice harvest in three years is under way, with SunRice expecting more than 800000tonnes to be harvested — an increase of more than 200 per cent from last year.SunRice’s Australian Grain Services grower services and agronomic development general manager Tom Howard said this was a great result for growers, SunRice and the industry.
‘‘Rice’s flexibility and adaptability, and the skill of growers to successfully establish a crop despite the late start to planting due to the spring deluge, have certainly shone through this season,’’ he said.
‘‘After last year’s smaller than usual crop of 245000tonnes as a result of lower water allocations, it’s been exciting to see so many growers return to rice this year, cementing it as the summer crop of choice across the Riverina.’’
The factors assisting in this year’s impressive harvest included plentiful winter and spring rains, 100 per cent water allocations across the Murray and Murrumbidgee valleys, reduced water prices — which at between $20 and $40/Ml, depending on the valley, have been at their most accessible in years — and favourable growing conditions which contributed to the excellent establishment of the crop.
The uptake of precision agriculture technologies is also enabling growers to further improve nitrogen and fertiliser application, which is cultivating increased production and greater grower returns.
SunRice’s investment in research and development is also assisting growers to diversify their risk profile and maximise returns.
A key research and development highlight has been the new shorter season varieties that are being commercially trialled for the first time this year — YRM70, a medium grain type, and YRK5, a short grain type.
These new varieties provide flexibility with planting as they can be sown three to four weeks after mainstream varieties, enabling growers to turn their late start or late water allocation into a planting opportunity.
The new varieties also increase double cropping options, together with achieving greater water use efficiency, which has the potential for growers to significantly increase returns.
Mr Howard said the new varieties were encouraging growers to see the potential for rice to play a bigger role in their irrigation program.
‘‘Having an ideal planting window up to a month after mainstream varieties opens up the opportunity to plant a rice crop after a winter crop, ’’ he said.
‘‘Growers this year have harvested canola, oats, barley, hay and even wheat, and have planted a rice crop into the same paddock within a few days.
‘‘If the opportunity arises this cycle can be repeated. Within the first year this could result in a 15 per cent to 20 per cent increase in dollar returns per hectare and per megalitre.
‘‘If this was repeated for three rice crops, per hectare returns have the potential to be 40 per cent higher per hectare than the existing system over the period of the rotation based on a drill-sown system.’’
Riverina rice grower James Salvestro, with his son Anthony and long-time employee Glen Bavaresco, is this year growing 50ha of the new YRM70, alongside 108ha of Topaz and 32ha of Sherpa.
Mr Salvestro said the new variety was a ‘‘game changer’’ for his property near Hanwood, in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.
‘‘We’ve kicked off harvest and after a very cold and late start we’re really pleased with the way all our rice is looking,’’ he said.
‘‘In addition to our usual program we were able to take advantage of late water allocations and increase our rice area by planting short season rice (YRM70) after our canola.
‘‘It’s looking great and we’re now confident to grow any winter crop, including wheat, and know we can follow it with rice.
‘‘This is a real game changer for our operation.’’
Harvest is expected to be complete in May
Ministry launches logo design contest to promote Vietnamese rice
Description: promote Vietnamese rice brand, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has launched the logo design contest.Vietnamese rice is exported to many countries in the world; so it needs a logo (Photo: SGGP)
Entries should be sent to the organizer from April 26 to June 26. Entries must feature the prestige, quality, and typical characteristics of Vietnam’s rice brand. They are huge representations of the country’s brand. Moreover, logos have to respect the nation’s traditional culture and customs and the world.Additionally, images on logo must match with words aesthetically and impressively to consumers through the lay-out, colors and sketches.It is requisite that they must not be similar to or a copy of any logo that has been used at home and abroad.The contest, open to Vietnamese and foreign individuals and organizations, encourages the participation of businesses, associations and those involved in rice production and trading.The winner will be awarded a certificate of merit and VND100 million (US$4,400) in cash and four consolation prizes worth VND 15 million (US$660) each.

1.04 million tonnes of degraded rice on auction

 | April 26, 2017 | (536 views) | By Thai PBS Reporters
Altogether 22 pre-qualification bids were submitted with the Foreign Trade Department for 1.04 million tonnes of degraded rice held in 157 warehouses in 37 provinces.
The department will announce a list of the qualified bidders this Friday and will allow them to submit their price bids for the rice which are not meant for consumption by both humans nor animals.
The rice on auction are divided into 16 types, including 100 percent Hom Mali, white rice, Pathum Thani rice and Hom rice.
Qualified bidders must have an industrial license and must clearly specify the end use of the rice they are to purchase in order to prevent the rice from being sold for consumption purpose.The rice are ideal for the production of ethanol and biomass.


Govt aims record 273MT foodgrain output in 2017-18

Foodgrain production is estimated to touch a record 27198 MT in the current year (July-June) on the back of good rains after two years of drought, according to the second estimate of the agriculture ministry

Description: Description: Description: Description:
New Delhi, Apr 25 The country is likely to produce an all-time high 273 million tonnes (MT) of foodgrain in the 2017-18 crop year starting July and maintain 4 per cent farm growth, anticipating a good monsoon.
Foodgrain production is estimated to touch a record 271.98 MT in the current year (July-June) on the back of good rains after two years of drought, according to the second estimate of the agriculture ministry.
"Foodgrain production target for next year is set at record 273 million tonnes," Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said while addressing a two-day national conference that is discussing sowing strategy for the coming kharif season.
Southwest monsoon is forecast to be normal which will help achieve the desired target, he said without disclosing the season-specific production targets.
It may be noted that 50 per cent of the foodgrain output comes from both kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons.
Kharif crops are normally sown in around 72 million hectares. Rice, pulses (tur, urad and moong), oilseeds (groundnut and soybean), cotton and sugarcane are main crops grown in this season.
Junior Agricutlure Ministers Parshottam Rupala and Sudarshan Bhagat emphasised on providing timely support to farmers during pre and post harvesting periods.
Expressing confidence of meeting the target, Agriculture Secretary Shobhana Pattanayak said: "We expect another year of good monsoon. We expect the 4 per cent agri-growth rate will be maintained in 2017-18."
Since kharif crops are heavily dependent on the performance of the southwest monsoon, the states should plan for all possible scenarios like delayed onset of rains, prolonged dry spells and less/excess rains, he said.
The Secretary further asked the states to encourage more farmers to buy the crop insurance policy Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and aim to insure 40 per cent of the sown area (194 million hectares) in 2017-18 crop year.Urging states to sustain pulses production next year, he said that it is a "big challenge" but efforts should be made to boost crop yields with supply of quality seeds and achieve the target of 23 million tonnes in 2017-18.
He also emphasised on diversification, market reforms and setting up of state and district committees for monitoring of agri-schemes.According to the agriculture ministry, there is sufficient supply of seeds for the forthcoming kharif season. For instance, about 83.46 lakh quintals of paddy seeds and 3.75 lakh quintals of tur dal seeds are available.
Fertiliser requirement is estimated to be 28.99 million tonnes for the season, it added.The two-day national conference is deliberating on how to increase foodgrain production in the next year and implement technology and new innovations in the farm sector.

Vietnam commits rice supply to Philippines

 (The Philippine Star) | 
 1  4 googleplus0  0 
MANILA, Philippines -  Vietnam, the country’s largest rice supplier, has renewed its commitment to aid the Philippines in its rice import requirements amid an ongoing order from President Duterte to defer all rice importation.
Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said the commitment was relayed by Vietnamese Vice Minister for Trade and Industry Tran Quoc Khanh during a Philippines-Vietnam Joint Trade Committee (JTC) held in the country early this week.
“The meeting with Vietnam is significant because the last time we held the JTC was in 2003. So after 14 years we reconvened and we covered a lot of issues,” Rodolfo said.
“Number one, Vietnam expressed support to the Philippines and readiness on whatever our domestic decision will be with respect to rice importation. They are very supportive, whatever that is,” he added.
According to Rodolfo, Khanh said Vietnam is ready to provide the “quality needed and the quantity needed” by the Philippines in terms of its rice requirements.
“They are very supportive and they understand the situation also. In the meantime that the Philippines is working toward self-sufficiency, they are ready just in case we will be needing rice,” he said.Vietnamese rice imports represent the biggest or 48 percent of the country’s total. In 2015, the Philippines’ rice importation from Vietnam was pegged at $223.3 million.
The government, through the order of President Duterte, however, has decided to formally defer the importation of 250,000 metric tons of rice despite the continued insistence of the National Food Authority to buy from international sources.Aside from the topic of rice supply, the Philippines and Vietnam also discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral trade, as well as balance the import and export trade between the two Southeast Asian countries during the recent JTC.
The DTI said Khanh is optimistic the Philippines could be the perfect trade partner of Vietnam in industries such as manufacturing leather goods and footwear, as well as organic farming.“We could say that with our sourcing cooperation and collaboration with Vietnam, textile companies who would invest in the Philippines are not just looking at our export market and our domestic market of 100 million, but also the 100 million domestic market of Vietnam and also the export market of Vietnam. So it is now larger,” Rodolfo said.

Slack paddy trading in NPT

By Htoo Thant   |   Wednesday, 26 April 2017
There is a slowdown in the paddy market in Nay Pyi Taw, with prices remaining stagnant since late last year.Ko Myo Lin Aung, a paddy stocker from Pyinmana township, said the price was stuck at over K500,000 per 100 baskets.
“Some get K520,000 at the most. The trade is slack,” he said on Sunday.The paddy market depends on China’s price market, and because China was not buying yet, the prices remained unchanged, said rice mill owner U Nay Soe.
“If China does not buy, then the paddy is only for the domestic market. There will be little prospects then.“It will be like that, too, in the near future. We cannot guess the politics,” he said.U Nay Soe said the drop in demand for rice by-products also had an impact on the paddy price.
Previously, despite the low paddy price, broken rice and paddy husk did well in the market resulting in mill owners and paddy brokers making profits.“But that market is also sluggish this year.“Most rice mills usually recover the cost through broken rice and paddy husk sales when the price for rice was not good. That also keeps the mills running and protects jobs.
“But now, even broken rice and paddy husk are not selling well. The prices are falling,” said U Nay Soe.The drop in demand for broken rice and paddy husk is also caused by livestock breeders opting for imported animal feeds now.Due to the drop of paddy price to around K300,000 per 100 baskets during the arrival of rainy season paddy in October and November last year, the government intervened with the market price to cover planting costs.The price hit about K500,000 in November and December last year. It remained largely unchanged since because exporting was disallowed and there was no foreign demand.With summer paddy coming next month, there would be a huge supply of paddy in the market again.
Ko Myo Lin Aung said there was no hope for the price to improve.“It is just not economically viable for paddy buyers this year, he said.U San Win, a paddy farmer from Lewe township, said farmers may lose interest in growing paddy if there was no demand from China.“Farmers will grow more if it is profitable. If not, they grow less.“These days, only the good quality paddy can fetch K500,000. Rainy season paddy won’t fetch such a high price.
“If things don’t change, we may have to grow other crops,” he said.
Based on official data, 1.7 million tonnes of rice was exported in the 2016-17 budget year in spite of no buying from China. In the current budget year, it is estimated that two million tonnes of rice will be exported.Union Minister U Aung Thu said although the ministry was not looking for other foreign markets yet, they would provide assistance for value-added manufacturing
Basmati rice exports up by 154.28pc in March

Description: Basmati rice exports up by 154.28pc in March
ISLAMABAD: The exports of basmati rice from the country during the month of March 2017 increased by 154.28 percent as compared the exports of the corresponding month of last year. During month of March, about 45,745 metric tons of basmati rice worth $43.976m were exported as compared the exports of 17,412 metric tons valuing of $17.294m of same month last year. According the data of PBS during the month of March, sugar exports from the country grew by 1.60pc and about 107,558 metric tons of sugar worth $57.742m were exported as compared the exports of 127,009 metric tons valuing of $56.883 million of same month last year.–APP 
During last month, exports of oil seed nuts and kernals increased by 281.92 percent as 4,588 metric tons of oil seeds and nuts worth $5.576 million exported against the exports of 1,099 metric tons valuing $1.460 million of same month last year

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- April 26, 2017

Reuters | Apr 26, 2017, 03.00 PM IST
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices - APMC/Open Market-April 26 Nagpur, April 26 (Reuters) - Gram and tuar prices reported down in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) auction on lack of demand from local millers amid good arrival from producing belts. Easy condition in Madhya Pradesh pulses also affected prices About 5,000 bags of gram and 6,000 bags of tuar were available for auctions, according to sources. FOODGRAINS & PULSES GRAM * Desi gram raw declined in open market in absence of buyers amid good arrival from producing belts. TUAR * Tuar varieties ruled steady in open market here but demand was poor. * Udid varieties and Batri dal showed weak tendency in open market on lack of demand from local traders amid increased supply from producing regions. * In Akola, Tuar New - 4,000-4,200, Tuar dal (clean) - 6,300-6,600, Udid Mogar (clean) - 9,500-10,900, Moong Mogar (clean) 7,100-7,400, Gram - 6,100-6,300, Gram Super best bold - 8,200-8,500 for 100 kg. * Wheat, rice and other commodities moved in a narrow range in scattered deals and settled at last levels in thin trading activity. Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close Gram Auction 5,200-5,500 5,300-5,750 Gram Pink Auction n.a. 2,100-2,600 Tuar Auction 3,500-4,000 3,530-4,300 Moong Auction n.a. 4,000-4,400 Udid Auction n.a. 4,300-4,500 Masoor Auction n.a. 2,600-2,800 Wheat Mill quality Auction 1,500-1,590 1,500-1,610 Gram Super Best Bold 8,500-9,000 8,500-9,000 Gram Super Best n.a. n.a. Gram Medium Best 7,800-8,000 7,800-8,000 Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a Gram Mill Quality 5,800-6,000 5,800-6,000 Desi gram Raw 6,200-6,400 6,350-6,550 Gram Yellow 8,200-8,400 8,200-8,400 Gram Kabuli 12,400-13,500 12,400-13,500 Tuar Fataka Best-New 6,500-6,800 6,500-6,800 Tuar Fataka Medium-New 6,000-6,300 6,000-6,300 Tuar Dal Best Phod-New 5,600-5,800 5,600-5,800 Tuar Dal Medium phod-New 5,000-5,500 5,000-5,500 Tuar Gavarani New 3,800-4,000 3,800-4,000 Tuar Karnataka 4,000-4,200 4,000-4,200 Masoor dal best 5,500-5,800 5,500-5,800 Masoor dal medium 5,200-5,400 5,200-5,400 Masoor n.a. n.a. Moong Mogar bold (New) 7,200-7,500 7,200-7,500 Moong Mogar Medium 6,800-7,000 6,800-7,000 Moong dal Chilka6,000-7,000 6,000-7,000 Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a. Moong Chamki best 6,900-7,500 6,900-7,500 Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 9,900-11,000 9,900-11,300 Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 7,800-9,000 8,000-9,000 Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 5,800-6,400 6,100-6,600 Batri dal (100 INR/KG) 5,600-5,800 5,800-6,000 Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 3,500-3,700 3,500-3,700 Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 3,100-3,350 3,100-3,350 Watana White (100 INR/KG) 3,300-3,500 3,300-3,500 Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) 3,900-4,400 3,900-4,400 Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 2,000-2,100 2,000-2,100 Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG) 1,800-1,900 1,800-1,900 Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 2,100-2,300 2,100-2,300 Wheat Lokwan new (100 INR/KG) 1,900-2,100 1,900-2,100 Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 2,100-2,200 2,100-2,200 Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 2,000-2,100 2,000-2,100 Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) n.a. n.a. MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 3,400-4,000 3,400-4,000 MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,600-2,800 2,600-2,800 Rice BPT new (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,400 3,000-3,400 Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG) 3,500-4,000 3,500-4,000 Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG) 3,000-3,200 3,000-3,200 Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG) 2,500-2,800 2,500-2,800 Rice Swarna new (100 INR/KG) 2,300-2,500 2,300-2,500 Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG) 2,600-2,800 2,600-2,800 Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG) 2,400-2,500 2,400-2,500 Rice HMT New (100 INR/KG) 3,600-4,000 3,600-4,000 Rice HMT best (100 INR/KG) 4,000-4,500 4,000-4,500 Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG) 3,800-3,900 3,800-3,900 Rice Shriram New(100 INR/KG) 4,600-4,800 4,600-4,800 Rice Shriram best 100 INR/KG) 6,500-7,000 6,500-6,800 Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG) 6,000-6,400 6,000-6,400 Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG) 10,000-14,000 10,000-14,000 Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 5,500-7,000 5,500-7,000 Rice Chinnor New(100 INR/KG) 4,600-4,800 4,600-4,800 Rice Chinnor best 100 INR/KG) 5,800-6,200 5,800-6,200 Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG) 5,500-5,700 5,500-5,700 Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG) 1,900-2,200 1,900-2,200 Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG) 1,800-1,900 1,800-1,900 WEATHER (NAGPUR) Maximum temp. 41.8 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 25.8 degree Celsius Rainfall : Nil FORECAST: Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 42 and 27 degree Celsius respectively. Note: n.a.--not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)0

Export Summary-South Korea buys corn, Taiwan tenders for corn

Reuters | Apr 25, 2017, 02.51 AM IST
April 24 (Reuters) - Snapshot of the global export markets for grains, oilseeds and edible oils as reported by government and private sources as of end of business on Monday:
CORN PURCHASE: South Korea's Feed Leaders Committee (FLC) purchased about 65,000 tonnes of corn to be sourced from optional origins in a deal late last week, European traders said.
FEED WHEAT PURCHASE: Malaysian interests have in past days purchased an unknown volume of feed wheat from Moldova in east Europe for May shipment in containers, European traders said on Monday.
CORN TENDER: Taiwan's MFIG purchasing group has issued an international tender to buy 40,000 to 65,000 tonnes of corn which can be sourced from the United States, Argentina, Brazil or South Africa, European traders said. The tender closes on April 26, they said. Shipment is sought in July.
DURUM TENDER: Algeria's state grains agency OAIC has issued an international tender to purchase a nominal 50,000 tonnes of durum wheat, European traders said. The tender closes on April 26, they said. Shipment was sought in the first and second half of June. Volumes in Algeria's tenders are nominal and the country frequently purchases more than the volumes initially sought.
FEED GRAIN TENDER: A group of Israeli private buyers has issued international tenders to purchase up to 100,000 tonnes of corn, 45,000 tonnes of feed wheat and 30,000 tonnes of feed barley all to be sourced from optional origins, European traders said. The tenders close on April 26, traders said.
WHEAT TENDER UPDATE: The lowest price offer in a tender from Iraq's state grains board for at least 50,000 tonnes of hard wheat was from Russia, an origin not permitted under the tender terms, European traders said. The tender had requested wheat sourced only from the United States, Canada or Australia, they said. No purchase was believed to have been made and negotiations continue.
RICE TENDER: Iran's state grains buyer GTC issued tenders to buy at least 65,000 tonnes of rice from Thailand and India, signaling a return to seeking international bids after the easing of sanctions, European traders said. Traders said Iran had largely purchased rice through lengthy direct negotiations before the relaxation of Western sanctions, which were imposed over the nation's nuclear program. The new tenders, with a closing date of April 18, sought 50,000 tonnes from Thailand and 15,000 tonnes from India for May shipment.
CORN TENDER: Turkey's state grain agency TMO has issued an international tender to purchase and import up to 44,000 tonnes of animal feed corn to be sourced from the European Union and Moldova. The tender closes on April 25, with offers having to remain valid until April 26.
WHEAT AND CORN TENDER UPDATE: A Libyan state grain buying agency again delayed the offer deadline in an international tender to purchase 100,000 tonnes of milling wheat, 50,000 tonnes of durum wheat and 75,000 tonnes of yellow corn, this time until May 9, European traders said. The tenders were originally issued in February but have been repeatedly postponed. Shipment of the grains was originally sought in April and May. (Compiled by Karl Plume in Chicago)

USA Rice Reaches 6 Million Turkish Consumers Thanks to Blogger Events 

ISTANBUL, TURKEY -- Turkey is a high priority market for exports sales and a good prospect for promoting increased consumption of U.S. rice due to the young, westernized population readily accepting of imported products, a concentration of buyers, a well-developed media, and a tradition of rice consumption.  As with many countries around the world, reaching these younger consumers is best accomplished via social media, an inexpensive and convenient way to gain media coverage that plays out in sales over the long term.  

In 2016, USA Rice held two blogger events here, Turkey's most populated city with more than 17 million consumers.  The first event targeted media bloggers with the goal of introducing U.S. rice and U.S. wild rice, and to teach about the versatility of U.S. rice, along with its taste and quality attributes.  

Sixteen top food bloggers attended the social media campaign launch with the Kirinti restaurant chain.  According to Deniz Erkul, the operation's owner, wild rice menu sales are now 20 percent of the total menu due to the USA Rice promotion.  "We believe that U.S. rice and mainly wild rice will be an asset to our existing rich menu.  Expanding our menu and including U.S. rice in different meal parts like salads, main dishes, and even desserts is exactly what we are looking for to encourage our customers to order it and to keep our menu fresh and exciting," said Erkul.

The Kirinti U.S. rice campaign generated free media coverage and blogger support as key dailies like
 Milliyet, with over 1.5 million readers, covered it.  

"Consumers naturally trust third-party blog posts about a product or company more than statements from the company itself," said USA Rice Regional Director Hartwig Schmidt.  "And we are happy to report this campaign generated five million impressions which is media exposure for U.S. rice equivalent to a $50,000 ad buy, at a fraction of the cost."

USA Rice hosted a similar blogger event at the Armada Club in Antalya where the restaurant's executive chef prepared two dishes using U.S. rice.  The 22 food bloggers who participated received recipe brochures and detailed information about U.S. wild rice cooking and quality tips.  The coverage in major blogs generated one million impressions for U.S. wild rice.

"Last year, the U.S. exported about $31 million worth of U.S. rice to Turkey," stated Schmidt.  "It's an important growth market for our industry and we are grateful for the use of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Market Access Program (MAP) funds to help us market here.  Because of the MAP program, we are able to promote our products overseas and diversify the markets where we sell U.S. rice products.  This program is a huge boost to our growers who export about 50 percent of their crop each year."

Rice farmer expresses confidence in Sites Reservoir
Description: Rice farmer Fritz Durst speaks about the necessity of building the Sites Reservoir near Maxwell and the effects it would have on Northern California agriculture to the Woodland Chamber of Commerce Water Committee.

Rice farmer Fritz Durst speaks about the necessity of building the Sites Reservoir near Maxwell and the effects it would have on Northern California agriculture to the Woodland Chamber of Commerce Water Committee.JIM SMITH — DAILY DEMOCRAT
By Jim Smith, Woodland Daily Democrat
POSTED: 04/25/17, 2:43 PM PDT | UPDATED: 1 DAY AGO
The long-proposed Sites Reservoir in Northern California is “going to get built” but it will be a challenge, according to Woodland-based rice farmer Fritz Durst.
Durst was speaking to the Woodland Chamber of Commerce Water Committee Tuesday morning and while he remains confident the Maxwell-area reservoir will one day be completed, he said there are challenges.
And, interestingly, the primary challenges are centered around involvement by the federal government — which is exactly the direction in which action is progressing.
As recently as last months, two Northern California congressmen, Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, and John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, introduced legislation that would accelerate the federal review of Sites Reservoir and improve its chances “should it be found feasible.”
The proposed 1.12 million acre-foot reservoir west of Maxwell in Colusa and Glenn counties has been under review for decades, and could get some state funding under Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion water bond approved by voters in 2014.
During a ranging review of water availability in Yolo County and elsewhere in California that included such topics as salmon restoration, conservation of the Delta smelt and groundwater availability, Durst also touched on Sites and spoke about the advantages of having around 500,000 acre-feet of extra water annually to the state’s water system.
“It depends on how you use the water,” he told the group of business and city officials.
He also said it was a matter of timing on being able to fill the reservoir once it’s completed. Depending on rainfall, it could fill up in one- to three years.
That storage would also increase Northern California’s overall water storage by about 23 percent and would also allow another 1.12 million acre-feet of water in other reservoirs such as Shasta, Trinity, Oroville and Folsom.
The problem, Durst said, was that in trying to meet the limits imposed by federal agencies, the work has gotten bogged down. It would be better, he said, if the state — or even Northern California alone — was able to complete the process.
However, the more pressing of challenges outlined by Durst is paying for construction, particularly getting a healthy dose of the $2.7 billion of bond funds available from California’s Proposition 1.
The Sites Reservoir committee has submitted an application for funding. It’s estimated that the state could finance about half of the estimated $4.4 billion construction cost. That would mean that half of the benefits from the project would go toward “public” benefits.
Yet, if the state doesn’t vote for half the funding, more than enough investors are ready to pay the tab, Jim Watson, Sites Reservoir general manager reported last year.
Although investors are signed up from outside the Sacramento Valley area, only members within the Sacramento Valley will be the owner operators, which has been the plan from the beginning. The Southern California Metropolitan Water District, Durst reported Tuesday, is not on that list.
First dibs were given to Sacramento Valley investors, and 19 signed up for differing amounts.
Another 15 groups could receive water in the Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and south of the Tehachapis.
Regardless of what happens, however, Durst said, the state is at a point “where we’re either going to build it or stop talking about it.”
Description: Jim Smith

How U.S. Rice Farmers Could Slash Their Emissions (and Costs)

New technique uses half the water, less fertilizer, cuts carbon.

(Left to right) Lane Simmons, his father Chris Simmons, and Carlos Gomez take a late dinner break from tilling and planting fields at Whitaker Farms.
Photographer: William Widmer/Redux Pictures for Bloomberg
Description: by Alan Bjerga
April 26, 2017, 2:00 PM GMT+5
Generations of Arkansas rice growers who farmed the flood plains near the Mississippi River had little reason to pay attention to water supplies or their impact on a changing climate. Dan Hooks is different.
Defying the common practice of constantly flooding fields—which creates methane and makes rice the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases among U.S. crops—Hooks experimented for three years with a low-water technique on 500 acres of rice. Turns out, when he allows the crop to dry out before irrigating again, he’s cut water usage in half and saved money without hurting yield.
“If farmers weren’t willing to change, we’d still be using mules,” Hooks said by telephone from Slovak, Arkansas, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) west of the Mississippi, the biggest U.S. river and a water source for millions of people. “I’m happy to be a guinea pig.”
Dan Hooks walks down a levee wall toward his pumping system, which he uses to bring well water up into a 40-acre water retention pond he built in 2002.
Photographer: William Widmer/Redux Pictures for Bloomberg
While fossil fuels like oil and coal get most of the blame for climate change and pollution, agriculture also contributes to the problem. American farmers—the world’s biggest grain producers—are responsible for 9 percent of all U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions, and rice has three times as much per acre as corn and five times that of wheat, according to a University of California-Davis study in 2012.
The technique used by Hooks, called Alternate Wetting Drying, reduces methane emissions, as well as water and fertilizer use. The concept was developed three decades ago in Africa and popularized in Asia during the 1990s. It’s now being employed in the U.S. on 35,000 acres, from southeast Missouri to Louisiana’s Gulf Coast, by farmers calling themselves Nature’s Stewards. The group thinks changing the way rice is cultivated could mean a more carbon-friendly future for the Mississippi Delta, the biggest growing region.
They may be right. But absent larger incentives—a prolonged water shortage, for example, or taxes and fees tied to emissions—the new methods may struggle to win a wider following among tradition-bound farmers.
A national market for carbon credits would provide exactly such an incentive, and during the early days of President Barack Obama’s administration, there were attempts to create one. House lawmakers proposed a system, called cap-and-trade, designed to encourage power plants and manufacturers to lower fossil-fuel emissions through the use of carbon credits. At the time, groups including the National Farmers Union tried to develop carbon credits farmers could sell on exchanges.
Jim Whitaker uses a pocket knife to check the depth of recently planted rice seed in a field at Whitaker Farms.
Photographer: William Widmer/Redux Pictures for Bloomberg
Cap-and-trade never made it out of Congress, and broad support since then has all but vanished. President Donald Trump last month signed an executive order attempting to roll back the government’s previous efforts to fight climate change.
However, the changing climate is affecting agriculture and could put a premium on reduced water usage. The earth has posted record-high temperatures in much of the past decade. California, the other center of U.S. rice production, just emerged from a multiyear drought. Five years ago, the Midwest had its worst drought since the 1930s Dust Bowl.
Nature’s Stewards is trying to provide evidence that Alternate Wetting Drying can make economic sense for rice farmers, according to Dennis Carman, an adviser who is chief engineer and director of the White River Irrigation District in Hazen, Arkansas. The effort is being aided by grants from Little Rock-based Winrock International, Environmental Defense Fund, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and others.
Normally, a rice farmer might flood his field under four inches (10 centimeters) of water at the beginning of the season and keep it at that level. Under Alternate Wetting Drying, farmers let the water drop to around two inches before applying more. The variation in soil moisture helps keep pests down, stretches the life of any fertilizer and lets rainwater do some of the work of keeping fields moist, rather than rely on irrigation, Carman said.
That can save up to $50 an acre on production costs that can reach $1,000 an acre—important savings in a low-margin industry that’s seeing harder times, he said.
But while the practice has been around for decades and is common in Asia, few American growers use Alternate Wetting Drying because water has usually been more abundant. And while savings are real, so are the hours and resources required for creating and documenting a new production system.
Tough economic times make farmers very conscious of risk and wary of any changes that could create yield and revenue losses with little promise of return, said Chip Bowling, vice chairman of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, an umbrella of U.S. farm groups.
Clockwise, from top left: Jim Whitaker walks in front of Rice storage and distribution silos at a Whitaker Farms grain processing plant in the tiny town of Dermott, Arkansas; inside a rice storage silo at the Whitaker Farms grain processing plant in Dermott; a water pump pulling water from a drainage canal into a storage reservoir on Whitaker Farms in McGehee, Arkansas; a tractor in the field at night on Whitaker Farms in McGehee.  
Photographer: William Widmer/Redux Pictures for Bloomberg
American farmers will see profit drop for a fourth straight year in 2017, the longest slump since the 1970s, according to the USDA. Revenue from rice last year totaled $2.37 billion, down 30 percent from a record in 2008, government data show.
“Anytime you see a change in production practices, it has to be enough of a change in dollars and cents to justify the change,” said Bowling, a former head of the National Corn Growers Association who raises that crop in Maryland. While farmers take pride in being good land stewards, many won’t change how they grow crops unless it helps them make or save money, Bowling said. That’s not happening, partly because carbon markets aren’t working for them, he said.
California has a fledgling market for carbon trading, and Arkansas farmers could potentially take part in it to monetize the carbon reduction from the Alternate Wetting Drying method. But right now, the cost of paperwork, time and record keeping is greater than the financial benefit of $5 a ton, Carman said. If the price reaches $20 a ton, farmers would begin to consider a switch, he said.
Chris Simmons, a farm manager who has been working at Whitaker Farms through the transition into the Alternate Wetting Drying farming technique, operates a “track tractor” to till soil and plant rice seed as it follows GPS-guided lines across the field in McGehee, Arkansas.
Photographer: William Widmer/Redux Pictures for Bloomberg
“These guys aren’t going to do this for nothing,” Carman said. “The production system is workable, but the economics are not there.” Jim Whitaker, who farms 5,700 acres of rice outside McGahee, Arkansas, about 100 miles southeast of Little Rock, says he’s taking the long-term view.
“This is the way of the future,” he said. “The way we’re touching sustainability addresses the social, the economic and the environmental. If we’re using less, we generate carbon credits, we lower our methane gas emissions. We’re saving real dollars, putting dollars into farm-family pockets, and we’re making society better.”
Tech transfer to boost rice output in Bangladesh
Description: Tech transfer to boost rice output in Bangladesh 
Bangladeshi farmers will be able to double or triple their rice production per acre using modern farm machinery and agricultural equipment.This was stated by Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ma Mingqiang when he handed over farm machineries and agricultural equipments to Secretary of Bangladesh's Ministry of Agriculture Moinuddin Abdullah at a ceremony Tuesday in Dhaka.
"I hope this is going to be a functional cooperation (between Bangladesh and China) which can really help Bangladesh to develop its own agriculture," he said.China handed over 6,004 pieces of farm machinery and agricultural equipment to Bangladesh's Ministry of Agriculture under a grant aid programme to help the country modernize its agriculture sector.
Ma said there are eight Chinese experts now in Bangladesh to help the country's experts in cultivation of hybrid rice, reports Xinhua.Abdullah said that Bangladesh will be immensely benefited with Chinese machinery and equipment in augmenting agriculture production.

"They (China) developed immensely in agricultural researching and in all other areas. They invented many new varieties of rice. They have been self-sufficient in food production for the world's most populous country by using modern technologies," said the official.