Saturday, January 13, 2018

13th January 2018 daily global regional local rice e-newsletter by riceplus magazine

Reap to acknowledge contribution of int’l buyers of Pak rice
January 12, 2018

Our Staff Reporter
LAHORE - The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan has announced to acknowledge the contribution of international buyers of Pakistani rice by giving them awards with a view to promote rice exports.
This was stated by REAP Chairman Samee Ullah Naeem while addressing a press conference here on Thursday. He hoped that the awards, named as ‘International Buyers Recognition Trophy 2018’ will provide a chance to the buyers to interact with Pakistani government departments so as to have a feel that they are in safe hands while interacting with the Pakistani ricesellers. He said such an award would also promote soft image of the country besides winning the loyalty and trust of the international buyers .
REAP chairman said that the total awards would be 30 which would be distributed on the basis of maximum import by any region and import on the basis of quantity.
He said that services of 30 top international buyers will be acknowledged at an event to be held on February 20, 2018 in Dubai, (third day of Gulf food: the biggest international annual food exhibition). Federal Minister for Commerce Pervaiz Malik will be the chief guest of this occasion which will be participated by around 100 international buyers , ambassadors, representatives of different departments of Gulf States, representatives of different government departments including TDAP, federal ministry for food security, provincial agriculture department and members of the REAP .
We are planning to make it a regular annual feature which will eventually be turned in to a ‘Rice Conference’ providing a platform not only to acknowledge the buyers but also to discuss the future trends and new technologies in rice sector, Samee added. Samee said, “We would be discussing the rice issues and a documentary would also be shown to the participants showing that Pakistan is the original house of Basmati; our agronomic practices are traditional and close to organic, ratio of using pesticides is low and Pakistani growers comply Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary practices thus product is healthy and safe for human consumption.
He claimed that closest competitor of Pakistan had betrayed from the original Basmati while the original Basmati Rice 370 was found in 1923 in District Hafizabad area of Pakistan.
Gov’t Set to Import 500,000 Tons of Rice by end of January
JAKARTA, NNC - The Indonesia Ministry of Commerce has kept its promise by allowing the import of 500,000 tons of rice to strengthen the domestic rice supply. “I have conveyed that I do not want to take risks in supply shortage, thus I have sanctioned the import of rice not planted in Indonesia,” said Commerce Minister Enggartiasto Lukita in Jakarta on Thursday (01/11). The imported rice will be sourced from Vietnam and Thailand.

The imported rice will be delivered to Indonesia by the end of this January to avoid disrupting the domestic rice harvest season on February-March. The imported rice will be set at a price equivalent with medium quality rice. In addition, Enggartiasto affirmed that his side’s decision to  import rice was to address the issue on food supply shortage. He clarified that he did not want the issue of supply shortage to become a concern. “We supply imported rice, as the issue on food is a priority,” the Minister affirmed. Meanwhile, state-owned Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia (PPI) has been appointed as the importer of the imported rice from Vietnam and Thailand. (*)

Uttar Pradesh clocks 250% rise in paddy procurement at 3.5 mn tonnes
Farmers paid Rs 52 bn through direct benefit transfer
 Uttar Pradesh continues to perform robustly in ongoing paddy procurement with total purchases in the current kharif marketing season hitting almost 3.5 million tonnes (MT) mark.This year, the Yogi Adityanath government is eyeing procurement of 5 MT of paddy, which is an ambitious target considering the state could purchase only about 70 per cent or 3.5 MT of the targetted 5 MT of paddy last season.The procurement centres established by the state agencies and Food Corporation of India (FCI) directly purchase paddy from farmers against the standing Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 1,550 per quintal (100 kg).About 3,375 procurement centres had purchased almost 3.5 MT of paddy, which is over 250 per cent higher compared to purchases during the corresponding period last year at 1.35 MT.About 400,000 state farmers had been paid Rs 52 billion for paddy through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to their bank accounts.
The main aspect of paddy procurement season has been the brisk pace at which it has been undertaken this year, resulting in higher procurement figures, a senior UP food and civil supplies department official told Business Standard.Meanwhile, the aggregate paddy production in UP, the rice bowl of India, is estimated at 21.812 MT this year, which is about 3 percent short of the initial target.UP is not only one of the largest paddy producers, but a big consumer of rice under the public distribution system (PDS).
 The state needs almost 4 MT of custom milled rice for PDS annually.One of the main reasons of direct purchase is to contribute to the central PDS pool, apart from giving remunerative prices to farmers and providing base price for their produce.If the paddy procurement targets are met this year, the UP farmers would pocket nearly Rs 77.50 billion from direct sale to government agencies. Farmers are also free to sell paddy to private purchasers or traders.
The procurement process had started in October and would continue till February 2018.Last month, the Yogi cabinet had extended the UP rice export promotion scheme (2017-22) for another five years, exempting direct and indirect rice exporters from UP mandi fee and development levy on both basmati and non-basmati rice brands.UP rice millers association president Ramakant Modi had said the promotion scheme would spur exports from the state, although he felt that Yogi government should have accorded some more benefits to indirect exporters as well to help the small and medium enterprises.
There are about 3,000 rice millers in UP. Mostly, coarse rice is exported from the state to developing or third world countries, including Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc. The state basmati is primarily exported to Dubai and other West Asian markets, he informed.
Judge rejects PCA’s proposed sulfate limit for wild rice waters
By John Myers on Jan 11, 2018 at 6:15 p.m.
 Wild rice harvested on Perch Lake on the Fond du Lac Reservation gleams in the sunlight. (file photo / News Tribune)
A state administrative law judge has flatly rejected a plan by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to abandon the statewide 10 parts-per-million limit for sulfate pollution in wild rice waters in exchange for a lake-by-lake system with varying limits.
Administrative Law Judge LauraSue Schlatter, in an 82-page opinion approved by the state’s chief administrative law judge and released Thursday, considered 1,500 written comments on the proposed changes in state law and held five public hearings that drew a combined 300 people.
Schlatter ruled against repealing the existing, statewide 10 ppm limit due to the PCA’s “failure to establish the reasonableness of the repeal, and because the repeal conflicts” with the federal Clean Water Act.
The judge also ruled against the PCA plan to develop “equation-based” limits for specific lakes and rivers that hold wild rice because it wasn't firm enough, it “fails to meet the definition of a rule” under state law “and is unconstitutionally void for vagueness.”
Schalter even rejected the state’s preliminary list of 1,300 lakes and rivers where the agency believes viable wild rice stands exist, places where the new rules would have applied, because the list itself violated federal law.
“The MPCA has not presented facts adequate to support the reasonableness of the proposed repeal of the 10 (ppm) sulfate standard without a replacement standard that is equally or more protective of wild rice waters,” the judge concluded before warning the PCA against re-submitting a similar plan. “Because some of the defects in the rule are defects in foundational portions of the proposed rules, the Administrative Law Judge advises the Agency against re-submitting the rule for approval ... unless it addresses the defects in the wild rice water sulfate standard and the list of wild rice waters.”
The judge’s ruling appears to leave the statewide 10 ppm limit for sulfate pollution in effect, but it remains unclear if or when that rule will ever be enforced. A current state law prevents the PCA from enforcing the limit in any pollution discharge permit. While the old sulfate law has been on the books since 1973, it has not been widely enforced, and several taconite iron ore operations and some municipal wastewater treatment plants upstream of wild rice stands are believed to be in violation.
PCA officials said they were still reading the decision Thursday and weren't ready to interpret the impact.“We just received the ALJ report. We will need to read and evaluate what the ruling says before offering any public comment,” said Dave Verhasselt, the agency’s director of communications.
Kelsey Johnson, president of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota, which opposed the PCA’s plan, said the PCA’s “first brush” at changing the sulfate rule “clearly wasn't adequate.”“I think the formula really had a lot of flaws and errors in the way they (PCA) approached it. They didn’t look at all the factors that impact wild rice other than sulfate — things like water depth,” Johnson said, adding that she believes the judge’s ruling now puts the issue back in the hands of the Legislature to decide how to regulate sulfate.
But environmental groups also were claiming victory, saying the judge rejected the rule because it abdicated the state’s responsibility to protect wild rice and human health from the impacts of sulfate pollution under the federal Clean Water Act.
“We’ve been moving ahead since 2011 under a threat that there would be a change in the state law that would remove the need for the mining industry to meet any sulfate standard. But the judge has clearly rejected that on its face. … She said a rule is needed to protect wild rice and protect water quality,” said Paula Maccabee, attorney for the group Water Legacy, which has pushed to retain the statewide sulfate limit. “We now have a neutral third party who said that (the PCA's proposal) doesn’t meet state rules and doesn't meet the Clean Water Act. The good news is that the rule of law still matters.”
Scientists have found that sulfate — which can come from sewage effluent, mine discharges and other industrial processes — is converted to sulfides in the sediment of many wild rice lakes and rivers. The rate of that conversion changes depending on the amount of carbon and iron in the water (generally, more sulfides with high carbon, fewer sulfides with high iron). It's those sulfides that prevent wild rice from thriving in some areas; the proposed new rule would have studied the water chemistry of each wild rice lake and river to determine what sulfate level they could handle and still grow wild rice.
Research also appears to show that higher sulfate and sulfide levels increase toxic methyl mercury, a pollutant already targeted because of its potential impact on human health.
Mining supporters have both worked to repeal the old limit and stop the PCA’s proposed changes, saying no limit is needed — that there is no major crisis with wild rice downstream of where mines operate. Business and government groups say the rule would be too costly to meet.
Iron Range leaders warned during comments on the rule change that enforcing sulfate limits could end mining as we know it, closing taconite plants and putting thousands of people out of work. Larry Sutherland, head of U.S. Steel's Minnesota mining operations in Keewatin and Mountain Iron, which employ some 1,700 miners, testified in October that adding reverse osmosis treatment to remove sulfate at Keetac's wastewater system could cost $200 million, a price tag that would be prohibitive for the plant to remain competitive in the global iron ore market. The implication is that the plant would close if sulfate limits are enforced.
The PCA said about 135 facilities are within 25 miles upstream of wild rice waters and would be the most likely ones affected by any sulfate rule enforcement.Environmental groups and tribal resource officials want to stick with the current, statewide sulfate standard of 10 parts per million, saying it's simple and potentially effective at protecting wild rice if it's enforced.
Police in Mombasa in search of two suspects over illegal importation of rice
By Cyrus Ombati | Published Thu, January 11th 2018 at 15:32
Updated January 11th 2018 at 18:43 GMT
Police are looking for two Kenyans over imported rice. (Photo: Courtesy) IN SUMMARY Police are looking for two Kenyan businessmen wanted over claims of importing illegal rice and sugar. The two are being investigated for allegedly assisting unscrupulous foreign businessmen engaging in transitional crime in the country.   Mombasa, Kenya: Police are looking for two Kenyan businessmen wanted over claims of importing illegal rice and sugar from Pakistan through the port of Mombasa. The two are being investigated for allegedly assisting unscrupulous foreign businessmen engaging in transitional crime in the country, police said. ALSO READ: Joho hints at imposing waste collection levy Police claim that the two businessmen of Somali origin are wanted for assisting 11 Pakistanis arrested on Tuesday during a raid within Kizingo and Nyali estates, Mombasa.
The 11 suspects were arrested after an intelligence report of their unlawful presence in the country. They were presented in court and detained for three days as investigations go on. The prosecution said Ali Mustaqim and Air Menzies international are under probe from DCI officers and Kenya Revenue Authority. “The two Kenyans are working in-cahoots with the foreigners to register companies and processing of working permits for the foreigners who are engaging in unlawful business in the country,” police said. Preliminary police finding indicates that the foreigners repackage the imported rice and sell it at subsidized prices thus affecting local dealers. Police said the repackaging is done within Shimanzi area, police claim.
 The prosecution led by assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Yamina Jami, said police were probing if  these businesses are used in funding of terror activities in the country or globally. Jami said if the suspects are released, there was a possibility of them interfering with investigations.
KRA loses Sh2.6 billion sugar import case Mombasa police commandant Johstone Ipara said the detectives are investigating if the foreigners are engaging in money laundering and drug trafficking. "We are still interrogating the suspects, we suspect they are illegally in Kenya and carrying out commercial activities without permits," Ipara said. He added that they are looking for other suspects who are at large to help in investigations.

Rice Farming Half a World Away 
By Robert Petter
 The following is a trip report from Arkansas rice farmer Robert Petter who spent part of his winter break traveling through Southeast Asia.DEVALLS BLUFF, AR -- My wife, Karen, and I are just back from a vacation, not a business trip, on a Mekong River cruise through Cambodia, plus a week in northern Viet Nam prior to the cruise and a few days in Ho Chi Minh City, post-cruise.  As we were preparing to leave      home a couple weeks ago, people here would ask about our vacation plans and when we told them where we were headed, everybody posed one of three questions:  Are we going there on purpose?  Are we crazy?  And why?
When people in the United States hear 'Southeast Asia,' the first thought is of the Viet Nam War, also known as the Second Indochina War that occurred in Viet Nam, Laos, and Cambodia, and lasted twenty years, from 1955 to 1975.  However, the local people we met on our trip had a very different sentiment.  As they would explain, both countries are very proud of their history and culture, but the people in Southeast Asia feel that that war was only a few years out of thousands of years of their history. 
Making rice paper wrappers over a steam table
Every individual we encountered had a story about how they were affected by the war but they would quickly point out that they are trying to recover and move forward.  No one we met was angry or upset at the United States, and all said it was time to move on.  Everyone we had contact with throughout our two and a half week trip was friendly, accepting, and happy, and at no time did we feel threatened or in any kind of danger.
As far as their rice, the Mekong Delta rice growing region is absolutely beautiful!  The small paddy fields with various crops in different stages of maturity present a colorful, welcoming, pleasant picture.  We did see numerous workers in the rice fields but, since we were traveling with other folks who aren't U.S. rice farmers, I didn't feel I could interrupt the trip to stop and visit with the local farmers as often as I would have liked. 
 At one point in Viet Nam, I was able to finally get my feet in a rice field where I met a local farm lady and we had a good time trying to talk to each other about her operation.  Needless to say, communication was challenging, but I did show her video and pictures of our rice farming operation here in Arkansas and gave her a USA rice hat to repay her for her time and patience with me.
Loading bagged, milled rice
Most of the crops we saw were very clean, even, and looked really good.  We also saw several fields being harvested, some with machinery, and others with hand-held sickles.  From one end  of Viet Nam to the other everyone dried their rice in the sun, either on or near the road, turning it several times for even drying.  Most rice is shipped in small wooden barges that carry 200 tons. 
In Cambodia, we had the opportunity to visit two schools.  At the school in the village of Koh Chen, we gifted the students with USA Rice giveaway bags left over from years past.  I had packed these out of date bags in my luggage to share with the students to use as book bags or for their parents to haul groceries.  They were a huge success!
I also donated 1,000 Riceland Food pencils to the school.  Our guide explained how valuable a pencil was to each family as it enabled their children to participate in class.  The guide said one pencil was the equivalent of one chicken. 
Learning how one simple pencil could change a child's life made me realize just how much we, in our part of the world, take for granted.  The rural areas we visited on this trip didn't have any of the modern conveniences we can't seem to live without.  It gave me a real appreciation for how fortunate I am to live where I do, and, as a farmer, to have access to the latest equipment and technology that makes my job a lot easier than it would be using a sickle and a drying rake.
Karen Petter (left) makes some new friends
Thanks to Robert & Karen, USA Rice makes an impact half a world away

WASDE Report Released
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. 2017/18 all rice production is 178.2 million cwt, down fractionally from the previous estimate and down 20 percent from last year.  The all rice average yield is estimated at 7,507 pounds per acre, up 46 pounds from the prior estimate.  Long-grain production is raised to 127.9 million cwt and medium- and short-grain production is lowered to 50.4 million.  All rice domestic and residual usage is increased by 5 million cwt to 120 million on higher-than-expected usage for August-November as implied by the NASS Rice Stocks report.  Projected U.S. all rice exports are reduced by 3 million cwt to 100 million, all for long-grain on slower-than-expected exports to Western Hemisphere markets.  Projected 2017/18 all rice ending stocks are reduced 1.8 million cwt to 29.2 million, the lowest level since 2003/04.  The projected 2017/18 season-average farm price for all rice is reduced 20 cents at both ends of the range to $12.10 to $13.10 per cwt, primarily due to lower-than-expected long-grain prices reported to date by NASS.
Global 2017/18 rice supplies are increased by 1.3 million tons to 622.8 million, primarily on larger crops for the Philippines and Pakistan.  Philippine rice production is projected at a record 12 million tons, mainly on larger harvested area, also a record.  World 2017/18 consumption increases 1 million tons to 481.8 million on higher expected usage in China, Ecuador, Nigeria, Vietnam, and the United States.  Global 2017/18 trade is raised to 45.8 million tons on higher exports by China and India more than offsetting lower U.S exports.  Trade is slightly below the 2016/17 record of 46.0 million tons.  World ending stocks are projected fractionally higher to 141.1 million tons for 2017/18 and are at the highest level since 2000/01 with China holding over 66 percent of total stocks.
Go here to read the full report
US Rice Daily
Rice imports to ease high prices
Stefani Ribka
The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Sat, January 13 2018 | 12:10 am
The government has finally allowed the importation of rice to ease the stubbornly high price of the staple food over the past two months.

Premium-grade rice totaling 500,000 tons will be sourced from major producing countries, such as Thailand and Vietnam, and is set to reach Indonesia late January through state-owned trading firm PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia.

The move has t...
Indonesia to import rice from Vietnam to curb price hikes
VNA FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 2018 - 20:22:00
Rice loading at Sai Gon Port in HCM City. (Photo: VNA)
Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia will import 500,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam and Thailand to contain rice price hikes and declining supply in the local market, said Indonesian Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita.

 The type of imported rice will be of premium quality, not grown in Indonesia, so it will not harm local farmers and rice production, Lukita said on January 12.

The country’s current rice stocks were estimated at about 950,000 tonnes, most of which is low-grade rice to be distributed as aid for low-income people. Meanwhile, the rice stocks for commercial purposes were only 11,000 tonnes.

Previously, Indonesia Vice President Jusuf Kalla had called on the National Logistics Agency (Bulog) to consider importing rice to bring down domestic prices.

According to the National Strategic Food Prices Information Centre (PIHPSN), the medium-quality rice is currently fetched at 14,100 IDR, or 1 USD, per kg.

The rice prices varied among regions. West Papua reported the highest price of 14,250 IDR per kg while the lowest price of over 9,700 IDR per kg was found in West Nusa Tanggara.-VNA
 Sri Lanka Customs seizes a consignment of banned agrochemical glyphosate hidden in rice
Fri, Jan 12, 2018, 10:56 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Jan 12, Colombo: Sri Lanka Customs has seized a consignment of banned agricultural weedicide glyphosate, illegally imported to the island. The stock of glyphosate had been smuggled into the country under the guise of importing broken rice.Officials of the Central Cargo Examination Directorate of Customs during an inspection seized 2,820 kilograms of glyphosate powder packed similar to rice packings and hidden among bags of rice.The glyphosate stock has been imported from Tuticorin, India by a food commodity importer in Pettah. The stock is valued at Rs. 3.22 million, according to the Customs Media Spokesperson Deputy Director Sunil Jayaratne.The officials have also found 21,850 kilograms of broken rice, valued at Rs. 1.34 million in the container that has brought glyphosate.Glyphosate has been declared as a prohibited agrochemical in a special gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Finance On 11th June 2015.
Walk the historic rice fields at The Ponds in Summerville Sun. Jan 28
History talks
Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 12:30 PM
Provided by Charlie Philips of Brockington and Associates
Discover the early history of Carolina rice fields during this history walk and talk at The Ponds in Summerville.Led by professional archaeologist and historian Charles Philips of environmental consulting company Brockington and Associates, the event is free and open to the public. At the  end of the history discussion, Philips, who is one of the principal researchers into rice culture at The Ponds, will take the group on a tour of The Ponds rice fields near Schulz Lake.

The tour is presented by The Ponds Conservancy, a not for profit community organization that manages and guards Summerville's historic Schulz-Lotz Farmhouse and more than 1,000 acres of open space as well as a wildlife refuge. In 2015, the Conservancy won the South Carolina Historic Preservation award.

To reserve a spot on the tour, email or call (843) 900-8556.
Do not exceed price ceilings, ministry tells rice stakeholders
The Jakarta Post
Jakarta | Fri, January 12, 2018 | 09:22 pm
 Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita (JP/srs)
The government has required retailers, distributors and suppliers of rice to sell the commodity at no higher than the set price ceilings, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said on Friday, stressing that the ministry would punish those found in violation of the policy.
"I invite all retailers, distributors and suppliers to take part in maintaining the price of premium and medium-quality rice at the [price] ceilings,” Enggartiasto said during a press conference in Jakarta on Friday.
He said the policy would apply to all stakeholders in the rice industry, and the Trade Ministry would monitor its implementation in the field, including by watching suppliers and distributors who keep their rice in warehouses.
"So, if you come across suppliers who don't distribute their rice, please report them to me. I will find out who they are,” he said, adding that his ministry had teamed up with the National Police to enforce the law against violators of the new policy.
The ministry’s price ceilings for rice were introduced in August 2017 to stand at between Rp 12,800 (89 US cents) per kilogram and Rp 13,600 per kilogram for premium-quality rice and between Rp 9,450 and Rp 10,250 per kg for medium-quality rice.
In markets, however, prices have exceeded the ceilings.
Enggartiasto also required all relevant firms to report the location of their respective warehouses, adding that unreported warehouses would be considered illegal by the ministry. (srs/bbn)
Experts, farmers optimistic for rice season
Thursday, January 11th 2018, 11:13 pm PKTFriday, January 12th 2018, 2:15 am PKT
By Candy Rodriguez, Reporter
It's the beginning of a new year, which also means the start to a new rice crop season.However, for the past couple of years, rice farmers across the state have experienced a drop in yields due to weather conditions impacting the cash crop."Yields were down about 12 percent across the board," said Paul Johnson a rice farmer.The Welsh native's rice fields are located in Cameron Parish near the Hayes area, but when rice season is over he does not flip his field into a crawfish pond due to the demand for property during hunting season.
In 2016, August flooding left a devastating impact on the area's rice production – the state's southern parishes suffered about $68 million in losses. Crops in 2017 didn't fare too well either after a wet summer with Tropical Storm Cindy hitting at a critical time for rice growth.
"The rice is pollinating at that time and with the high winds and excessive rain it tends to knock the flowers off and provide blanking," he said. But experts and farmers are optimistic about the upcoming season."The 2018 season for rice production looks very favorable," said Dustin Harrell, LSU AgCenter's rice specialist. "We have a lot of new technology that a lot of our rice farmers are going to be able to utilize."
Harrell said farmers will have access to new fungicide, four new herbicides, and a new herbicide-resistant rice variety – Provisia.
However, the weather conditions are not the only thing farmers have to worry about. Rice prices have dropped in recent years. Producers saw a small increase in 2017, but nothing compared to what they need it to be in order to break even.
"In conjunction with a little bit lower yields, it makes for a tough situation," said Johnson, when discussing the decreased prices and lowered yields. "We're really just hoping we get back to normal growing conditions, whatever normal is."
Farmers are expecting to start planting sometime in late February or early March.More than 30 parishes grow rice in Louisiana, making the state the third largest producer in the country, according to the LSU Ag Center. To take a look at the LSU AgCenter's 'Louisiana Rice Research Board Annual Report' click HERE.

Be vocal about NAFTA,’ Implores U.S. Rice Producers Association CEO
NAFTA a crucial trade agreement for U.S. farmers says rice association executive
Ron Smith | Jan 12, 2018
 Farmers must “get vocal about NAFTA,” Dwight Roberts, president and CEO, U.S. Rice Producers Association, Houston, Texas, charged farmers and ag industry representative at the 21st Annual Conservation Systems Cotton and Rice Conference Thursday in Memphis.
“That’s the message we will be taking to Washington, DC,” he said during the conference opening session. “NAFTA, we hafta,” he added, noting that he and others are concerned about the Trump Administration’s views on the trade agreement. He said the “administration has a lack of understanding,” of how important NAFTA is to agriculture and the U.S. economy.
“At the American Farm Bureau Convention last week in Nashville, the President’s comments about NAFTA scared me. That’s why I encourage anyone who plants rice, wheat or raises cattle or other commodities to be vocal about NAFTA.”
Roberts has spent years working with South American and Mexican interests. “I know Mexico almost as well as I know Texas,” he said. He added that he understands the advantage of strong trade alliances with our closest neighbors, especially in light of a global market that has changed dramatically over the past generation.
“This is not your grandfather’s market,” he said. “We have so many challenges in agriculture, and we have a world market that we used to dominate. That’s not the case anymore.” He said Brazil and Asian countries are strong competitors.“Farmers must examine prices and the cost of operation,” he added.
Roberts praised growers who attend the Conservation Systems conferences. “You’re here because you are trying to get ahead,” he said. “You are the tough ones who have weathered the storms.”It will take toughness and commitment, he said, to thrive in an increasingly competitive agriculture marketplace. Trade agreements like NAFTA, he said, are crucial to market what U.S. farmers produce.
Maungdaw rice loses value in face of limited demand

Rice prices are falling in Maungdaw on low demand. Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times
Rice prices in Maungdaw township, Rakhine State, have fallen this year, according to merchants and residents from the region.
The change in price is due to decrease in demand. Bangladesh, which borders Myanmar, is having a decent yield this year and Yangon-based traders have decided to directly export rice to import rice from there. Hence the demand for Maungdaw rice has fallen, according to U Aung Myint Thein, chair of Maungdaw Border Trade Chamber of Commerce.
Border trade with Bangladesh is a big part of Maungdaw’s economy. The price of rise is not faring well because there isn’t any demand within the area, U Han Soe, a local resident, commented.
The price of 50kg of medium-grade rice was over K30,000 during the last rainy season. Currently, it is only  slightly over K20,000, representing a drop of 30 percent of the price. Likewise, the lower-quality rice cost, which was over K25,000 during the last rain season, has dropped to K15,000, according to the local merchants.
The lack of stability in the region, coupled with poor transport  infrastr-ucture, has made it difficult for traders to sell rice from Maungdaw and other regions, businesses suggested.
Sri Lanka farmers cautioned on water use in 2018 despite La Niña
Jan 12, 2018 06:57 AM GMT+0530 |
ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka is expected to receive normal rains in the first three months of 2018, but the period is the driest in the year, and farmers should use water sparingly, the island's agricultural authorities have said in a weather update.
Meteorologists have forecasted a few days of rain after January 09, including in the dry and intermediate zones of the island.
"Meanwhile, prevailing ocean-atmospheric conditions in the Central Eastern Pacific Ocean favors a La Nina type circulation while the Indian Ocean remains at neutral conditions," the Agro-climatology & Climate change Division said.
 "These ocean atmospheric conditions again favor to generate expected amounts of rains during next three months from January to March."
But the first three months generally get the least amount of rain.But, it should be noted that even though normal or slightly above normal rains would experience in coming three months, the quantum of such rains that would receive during each month of this period is the least compared to other months of the year across almost entire island."Hence, any significant increase in inflow to tanks and reservoirs cannot be expected in forthcoming months still late March," the statement said.
"Thus, it is highly advisable to use water available in irrigation tanks and reservoirs of the country very sparingly to ensure adequate water storage for the rest of 2017/2018 season."Sri Lanka's agriculture was hit by two years of drought with floods in some parts of the island.In the Yala minor crops season Sri Lanka was estimated to have sown about 400,000 hectares, down 33 percent of the average of the three previous years.About 1.04 million metric tonnes of rice was expected from the Yala season, the lowest in 10 years.
In the 2017 Maha season about 383,000 hectares of rice were sown producing 1.47 million tonnes of rice, about half the 2.9 million tonnes a year earlier. (Colombo/Jan11/2018)ña-Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- January 12, 2018
Nagpur Foodgrain Prices – APMC/Open Market-January 12, 2018
Nagpur, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Gram prices moved down in Nagpur Agriculture Produce Marketing
Committee (APMC) on poor demand from local millers amid high moisture content arrival. Easy
condition in Madhya Pradesh gram prices and release of stock from stockists also pulled down
prices, according to sources. 

   * Desi gram raw showed weak tendency in open market here in absence of buyers amid
     good supply from producing region.
         * Tuar varieties ruled steady in open market here on subdued demand from local traders
     amid ample stock in ready position.
   * Moong Chilka and Moong Chamki recovered in open market here on good demand from
     local traders.                                                                 
   * In Akola, Tuar New – 4,100-4,200, Tuar dal (clean) – 6,000-6,200, Udid Mogar (clean)
    – 7,800-8,800, Moong Mogar (clean) 7,300-7,600, Gram – 4,300-4,400, Gram Super best
    – 6,400-7,000
   * Wheat, rice and other foodgrain items moved in a narrow range in
     scattered deals and settled at last levels in weak trading activity.       
 Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg   
     FOODGRAINS                 Available prices     Previous close 
     Gram Auction                  3,200-3,550         3,200-3,670
     Gram Pink Auction            n.a.           2,100-2,600
     Tuar Auction                N.a.                3,500-3,935
     Moong Auction                n.a.                3,900-4,200
     Udid Auction                n.a.           4,300-4,500
     Masoor Auction                n.a.              2,600-2,800
     Wheat Mill quality Auction        1,580-1,728        1,600-1,695
     Gram Super Best Bold            6,800-7,500        6,800-7,500
     Gram Super Best            n.a.            n.a.
     Gram Medium Best            6,000-6,300        6,000-6,300
     Gram Dal Medium            n.a.            n.a
     Gram Mill Quality            4,000-4,100        4,000-4,100
     Desi gram Raw                4,500-4,650         4,550-4,700
     Gram Kabuli                12,400-13,000        12,400-13,000
     Tuar Fataka Best-New             6,200-6,500        6,200-6,500
     Tuar Fataka Medium-New        5,900-6,100        5,900-6,100
     Tuar Dal Best Phod-New        5,700-5,900        5,700-5,900
     Tuar Dal Medium phod-New        5,300-5,600        5,300-5,600
     Tuar Gavarani New             4,450-4,550        4,450-4,550
     Tuar Karnataka             4,700-4,900        4,700-4,900
     Masoor dal best            4,900-5,100        4,900-5,100
     Masoor dal medium            4,600-4,800        4,600-4,800
     Masoor                    n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Mogar bold (New)        7,500-8,000         7,500-8,000
     Moong Mogar Medium            6,500-7,000        6,500-7,000
     Moong dal Chilka            5,900-6,500        5,800-6,500
     Moong Mill quality            n.a.            n.a.
     Moong Chamki best            7,600-8,100        7,500-8,000
     Udid Mogar best (100 INR/KG) (New) 8,000-8,500       8,000-8,500
     Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG)    5,800-7,000        5,800-7,000   
     Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG)        5,000-6,200        5,000-6,200   
     Batri dal (100 INR/KG)        5,100-5,500        5,100-5,500
     Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg)          2,500-2,600         2,500-2,600
     Watana Dal (100 INR/KG)            3,300-3,400        3,300-3,400
     Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG)    3,400-3,800        3,400-3,800 
     Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG)        1,900-2,000        1,900-2,000
     Wheat Mill quality (100 INR/KG)    1,750-1,850        1,750-1,850 
     Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG)         2,150-2,350           2,150-2,350       
     Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG)    2,250-2,450        2,250-2,450   
     Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG)   2,000-2,200        2,000-2,200
     Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG)    n.a.            n.a.
     MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG)    3,200-3,800        3,200-3,800   
     MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG)    2,400-2,800        2,400-2,800         
     Rice BPT best (100 INR/KG)        3,200-3,600        3,200-3,600   
     Rice BPT medium (100 INR/KG)        2,700-2,800        2,700-2,800   
     Rice Luchai (100 INR/KG)         2,300-2,500        2,300-2,500     
     Rice Swarna best (100 INR/KG)      2,500-2,600        2,500-2,600 
     Rice Swarna medium (100 INR/KG)      2,350-2,450        2,350-2,450 
     Rice HMT best (100 INR/KG)        4,100-4,500        4,100-4,500   
     Rice HMT medium (100 INR/KG)        3,500-3,900        3,500-3,900   
     Rice Shriram best(100 INR/KG)      5,000-5,400        5,000-5,400
     Rice Shriram med (100 INR/KG)    4,400-4,900        4,400-4,900 
     Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG)    9,500-13,500        9,500-13,500   
     Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG)    5,000-7,500        5,000-7,500   
     Rice Chinnor best 100 INR/KG)    5,800-6,000        5,800-6,000   
     Rice Chinnor medium (100 INR/KG)    5,200-5,500        5,200-5,500 
     Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG)        2,000-2,200        2,000-2,100   
     Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG)         1,800-2,000        1,700-2,000
Maximum temp. 30.7 degree Celsius, minimum temp. 11.0 degree Celsius
Rainfall : Nil
FORECAST: Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around and 31 and 11 degree
Celsius respectively.
Note: n.a.--not available
(For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices)3-9554-13.html
Côte d’Ivoire to set an agency for the development of rice sector
 Friday, 12 January 2018 - 12:14
(Ecofin Agency) - Côte d’Ivoire will set an agency for the development of the rice sector (ADERIZ). This has been announced on January 10, 2018, at the end of a ministerial council by the executive which revealed the adoption of a decree on the agency.This measure should accompany the country’s strategy for the development of rice production (Stratégie Nationale de Développement de la Riziculture-SNDR) from 2012 to 2020. Indeed, through SNDR, the government aims to make Côte d’Ivoire a self-sufficient milled rice producer and exporter. “Specifically, The agency will help strengthen the capacities of trade organizations in the sector, invest in infrastructures for rice production and establish a sustained mechanism to continually meet national demand for certified rice seeds and improved varieties” the government indicates.
In the country, rice which accounts for 65% of cereal production is mainly produced on irrigated, rainfed and flooded systems.
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), during the rice campaign 2016/2017, Côte d’Ivoire has produced about 1.3 million tons of rice while the local consumption averages 2.9 million tons.
Rice Importation Drops By 91 Percent

Official figures on rice exportation from Thailand to Nigeria between 2014 and 2016, has revealed that the volume of rice imported to Nigeria has dropped.
According to the figures, the importation dropped from 1.24 million tonnes in 2014, to 58,260 tonnes in 2016, representing a 91 per cent decline. The drop in importation has been attributed to President Muhammadu Buhari New Year broadcast, to ban the importation of rice import in 2018.
Industry sources believe that the reduction in Nigeria’s importation trend was facilitated by the successful implementation of the Anchor Borrowers’ scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), from which many states had benefited.
He said: “We have got to get used to discipline and direction in economic management. The days of business as usual are numbered. Two years ago, I appealed to people to go back to the land. “I am highly gratified that agriculture has picked up, contributing to the government’s effort to restructure the economy.“Rice imports will stop this year. Local rice, fresher and more nutritious variants would be on our dishes from now on.”
According to Buhari:
“Great nations are built by enterprising people who turn their hands to anything that circumstances dictate.”
To intensify local production, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture (NIRSAL) is deploying an innovative nation-wide field structure to support 225,000 farmers under the CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
However, the report added that Benin Republic’s rising rice export figures is posing a challenge in its border with Nigeria. A USDA review of the agricultural situation in Benin, published in March 2014, stated: “Benin serves as a delivery corridor for West Africa, reaching more than 100 million people in the landlocked countries of Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and the northern states of Nigeria.”
Take a grain check: There’s more to the Indian diet than polished rice and wheat
Soumya Sarkar
JANUARY 13, 2018 16:17 IST

It is now forgotten that before the Green Revolution, millets made up 40% of all cultivated grains
Hunger is on the rise after many years, particularly in developing countries like India. The threat of climate change in lowering farm productivity can make the situation worse unless we take immediate steps to grow more eco-friendly food.
India is particularly vulnerable to global warming, and it is now well established that rising temperatures make for anaemic harvests. India’s long struggle with hunger and food security may have become tougher. In the peninsula, temperatures may rise by as much as 6° Celsius by the end of this century, according to research by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
In the southern states, rice yields may decline by 5% in the 2030s, 14.5% in the 2050s, and 17% in the 2080s, the ADB study predicts. This is bound to affect food security in India with climate change set to make food production in South Asia more difficult and push production costs upwards. Food shortages are expected to increase the number of malnourished children in South Asia by seven million.
In the crosshairs
To compound woes, scientists have found that higher temperatures hamper the nutritional value of harvests, particularly rice and wheat — staples for most Indians. Greater levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would lead to protein deficiencies, according to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives. In a few decades, as many as 53.4 million Indians may be newly at risk of protein deficiency.
Experts at the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Bonn last November argued for faster and further investment in agriculture to support livelihoods of small farmers, and to curb emissions.
Small farmers, herders and fishing communities in developing countries provide the bulk of the planet’s food, but they are also disproportionately affected by global warming.
The problem of nutrition security has not entirely escaped attention. Eminent agriculture scientist M. S. Swaminathan has said India needs a nutrition revolution.
The architect of India’s Green Revolution has been advocating for a greater reliance on millets, not only to provide better nutrition but to also ensure farmers are well-equipped to deal with climate change. Calling millets ‘orphan crops,’ Swaminathan has called for greater investment in millet research to add variety to India’s food basket.
Ironically, it is now mostly forgotten that before the Green Revolution of the 1960s, millets made up around 40% of all cultivated grains, contributing more than wheat and rice. The production of rice has doubled and wheat tripled since then, while that of millets has declined.
Millets were the major staple in central and southern India, as well as the mountain States since ancient times.
After the relentless advance of high-yielding varieties of rice and wheat, which guzzled water and needed large amounts of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, harmful to the environment, millets gradually vanished from our plates.
The government was also complicit in this by pushing only rice and wheat in the public distribution system, rendering the cultivation of millets economically unviable. This has resulted in high consumption of polished rice and refined wheat flour, which are nutritionally poor and bad for ecosystems as well.
The time has come to recognise that India was never a two-grain nation. We need to expand our food basket for the nutritional security of our young, and for future generations. And millets can be the climate-resilient future crop for millions of Indians. They can counter the worst effects of climate change better than most other crops.
Since millets require much less water than other crops — pearl and finger millets, for instance, can grow well with a fourth of the rainfall that rice requires — they are much better adapted for droughts.
Superior grain
They are known for their climate-resilient features, including the ability to adapt to a wide range of ecological conditions, low irrigation requirements, better growth and productivity even without fertilisers and minimal vulnerability to environmental stresses. Millets are also nutritionally superior to other major cereals because they are rich in dietary fibres, resistant starches, vitamins and essential amino acids.
Although is it difficult to get people to change their diets, the scene for millets might be changing for the better. The Food Security Act has stipulated that beneficiaries of India’s public distribution system, which constitute about 813 million of the country’s poorest, will get millets at ₹1 per kg.
But framing a law is not enough. The government must ensure that millets are adequately available at fair price shops.
In times of climate change, millets are often the last crop standing, the central government has said in a recent release, while asking the U.N. to declare 2018 as the International Year of Millets. These words must be followed by effective action. nations flags Photo: Getty Images
India and ASEAN countries agree to tackle climate change, price volatility
 Breaking News January 13, 2018 10:12
By The Statesman
Asia News Network
New Delhi
India and ASEAN countries on Friday agreed to cooperate in agriculture and forestry to tackle challenges of climate change and price volatility, along with seeking intervention for livelihood opportunities, exchange of farm machinery and development of heterotic rice hybrids.
In a joint declaration at the 4th ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry here, they also sought cooperation on exchanging expertise as to promote enhanced resilience of natural systems, and improve the adaptive capacities of people to cope with environmental hazards.
“We supported the prioritization of joint collaborative projects in the areas of (i) Agroforestry interventions for livelihood opportunities, (ii) Demonstration and exchange of farm implement and machinery, and (iii) Genetic improvement of parental lines and development of heterotic rice hybrids,” it said.
“We look forward to the implementation of more capacity building programmes in 2018 on the empowerment of ASEAN and Indian women through cooperatives, and managing food security and price volatility”.
As a part of Medium Term Plan of Action for ASEAN-India Cooperation in Agriculture and Forestry for 2016-2020, they said: “We underscore the importance of addressing climate change as it negatively impacts food security.”
The declaration also sought implementation of the 3rd exchange visit for farmers between ASEAN and India in order to provide opportunities for ASEAN and Indian farmers and fishers, including young and women farmers, to learn and develop more efficient farming practices and management skills through information sharing.
The 5th ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry will be held in Brunei Darussalam in 2019.
Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Malaysia Laos and Brunei are the members of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).
India and ASEAN countries agree to tackle climate change, price volatility
New Delhi– India and ASEAN countries on Friday agreed to cooperate in agriculture and forestry to tackle challenges of climate change and price volatility, along with seeking intervention for livelihood opportunities, exchange of farm machinery and development of heterotic rice hybrids.
In a joint declaration at the 4th ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry here, they also sought cooperation on exchanging expertise as to promote enhanced resilience of natural systems, and improve the adaptive capacities of people to cope with environmental hazards.
“We supported the prioritization of joint collaborative projects in the areas of (i) Agroforestry interventions for livelihood opportunities, (ii) Demonstration and exchange of farm implement and machinery, and (iii) Genetic improvement of parental lines and development of heterotic rice hybrids,” it said.
“We look forward to the implementation of more capacity building programmes in 2018 on the empowerment of ASEAN and Indian women through cooperatives, and managing food security and price volatility”.
As a part of Medium Term Plan of Action for ASEAN-India Cooperation in Agriculture and Forestry for 2016-2020, they said: “We underscore the importance of addressing climate change as it negatively impacts food security.”
The declaration also sought implementation of the 3rd exchange visit for farmers between ASEAN and India in order to provide opportunities for ASEAN and Indian farmers and fishers, including young and women farmers, to learn and develop more efficient farming practices and management skills through information sharing.
The 5th ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry will be held in Brunei Darussalam in 2019.
Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Malaysia Laos and Brunei are the members of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). (IANS)
Judge rejects change to Minnesota's wild rice water standard
EnvironmentDan Kraker •
 Minneapolis • Jan 11, 2018
Wild rice seeds float on the St. Louis River shortly after being thrown by Conservation Corps workers Tuesday, September 13, 2016 in Duluth, Minn. Derek Montgomery for MPR News 2016
LISTEN Story audio
Jan 12, 2018
3min 32sec
 Updated: 8:45 p.m. | Posted: 5:11 p.m.
In a ruling with potential implications both on the health of Minnesota's culturally vital wild rice and on mining and other industry critical to northern Minnesota's economy, a state administrative law judge ruled Thursday that state regulators failed to justify a proposed change to a controversial water quality standard for protecting wild rice.
In her report, Administrative Law Judge LauraSue Schlatter said the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency failed to justify changing the current wild rice sulfate standard, which limits discharges of sulfates into waters where wild rice grows to 10 milligrams per liter.
The rule has its roots in the 1930s and 40s, when a University of Minnesota scientist found that wild rice didn't grow well in water that contained a lot of sulfate, a pollutant released by industries like iron ore mines and paper mills, as well as wastewater treatment plants.
Based on that research, Minnesota adopted a standard in 1973 that limited how much sulfate could be discharged into wild rice waters.After environmental groups and Indian tribes pressured regulators to start enforcing it, the state legislature in 2011 asked the MPCA to study the rule and see if it needed changes.
Last year the agency proposed a complex, flexible formula that would determine what standard would be appropriate for each specific lake or stream.But Schlatter wrote that the agency failed to demonstrate that repealing and replacing the current standard would be equally or more protective of wild rice.
The agency also "failed to recognize the proposed rule's burden on the Native American community in its discussion of classes of people who will be burdened by adoption of the proposed rule," the judge wrote.
The ruling was cheered by both environmental groups and industry groups, although the two sides still disagree on the validity of the state's current standard."This is a day we can celebrate," said attorney Paula Maccabee with the environmental group WaterLegacy. "Because what we've seen is the administrative law judge...affirming the protection of wild rice, and the protection of clean water and human health from the increased risk of mercury contamination that would result if sulfate levels were increased."
The judge also rejected the MPCA's proposal to count 1,300 wild rice water bodies in the state.
"She concluded that there was no adequate or defensible reason for excluding nearly 1,000 other wild rice water bodies that were on the DNR's list and the tribal lists as well," said Nancy Schuldt, water projects coordinator with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
Industry groups, meanwhile, also praised the decision.The difference is that they also disagree with the state's current wild rice sulfate rule — the so-called "10 standard" — which environmental groups and tribes want the state to enforce."I think the MPCA understands the '10' is not a workable option," said Kelsey Johnson, president of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota. "It's a matter now of finding out what is a workable option."
Industry groups argue that complying with either standard could cost tens of millions of dollars, if not more. They say that could potentially put mines and other industry out of business, and impose huge costs on wastewater treatment plants.State Rep. Jason Metsa, DFL-Virginia, said spending all that money wouldn't even guarantee protection of wild rice."Because the answer we kept getting back even from the MPCA was, 'We don't know.' 'Will it help future crops prevail?' and the answer was always, 'We don't know,'" he said.
Metsa said he and other lawmakers are considering a legislative solution to this longstanding controversy over Minnesota's most famous and culturally significant grain.Meanwhile the MPCA said it needs to evaluate the report before commenting.Chief Administrative Law Judge Tammy Pust said that if the agency chooses not to correct the defects, it must submit the proposal to legislative leaders for further review.

Weedy rice is growing problem for California farmers Weedy rice was offici

Weedy rice displayTodd Fitchette
Weedy rice was brought to the attention of California rice growers again in 2016 after it was first discovered in three fields in the northern Sacramento Valley. Since then it has been identified in at least 10,000 acres across the state's growing region.

Weedy rice is growing problem for California farmers

Weedy rice was officially documented in California about 2006. Today, it's found on about 10,000 acres of California rice
California rice growers are discovering a challenge in their fields that some thought was merely herbicide-resistant watergrass.
Last year, newly-hired University of California (UC) Cooperative Extension Rice Advisor Whitney Brim-DeForest began receiving calls from rice growers about a weed they couldn’t kill. This led to the quick discovery that watergrass wasn’t the problem.
Since the beginning of the 2016 growing season, at least 10,000 acres of rice ground in California has been identified with weedy rice, one of the most damaging weeds of rice worldwide.
As growers began reporting the problem to farm advisors and the California Rice Commission (CRC), UC teamed with the CRC to help growers understand what weedy rice is and what it's not. Knowing what it’s not can reassure growers concerned with regulatory constraints.
Since it is not considered something requiring state or federal quarantines, growers can be rest assured that “there are no repercussions because it’s just rice,” she said.
The issue is simply one of what markets will tolerate in terms of contamination in the milled product.
Shortly after assuming her post in 2016 Brim-DeForest was made aware of the widespread nature of weedy rice in California fields. What was first thought to be just a “spotty” problem found in a handful of fields in the northern Sacramento Valley quickly became identified across 10,000 acres of rice statewide.
Brim-DeForest searched through journals and other publications on the topic. She quickly discovered that weedy rice, or red rice (known for this by its color), is of the same genus and species as cultivated rice, albeit an unwelcome one. Because of this, it does not present a human health risk if it is mixed with the cultivated rice chain.
The challenge is it cannot be controlled by approved herbicides.
According to UC, it can significantly affect yield and quality. Yields in the Mid-South have been reduced by 60 percent where this is present.
Brim-DeForest’s study of weedy rice reveals that it was rediscovered in California in 2006. Historic records show it was present before 1950, but little was said about it since then.
A 2008 survey of rice in the Sacramento Valley turned up three fields with it. Then the Rice Research Board and CRC set up a task force to look into the issue, but it quickly “fell off the radar” of those in the rice industry, she said.
Though some pest control advisers were starting to see something and were bringing samples into the Rice Experiment Station in Richvale, Calif., Brim-DeForest says there was no official mechanism to track weedy rice until years later when it was beginning to show up as a more widespread problem.
Rice mills surveyed by UC said they’d seen it “for years,” she said, but reported some confusion in identifying it because there are red-colored rice bran varieties that the industry purposefully grows for certain markets.
“A lot of folks thought it was just contamination from colored rice,” Brim-DeForest said.
Identification and treatment
In cooperation with UC, the CRC produced a website at to help growers and PCAs identify the problem and understand what to do if growers think it might be in their fields. Growers can subscribe on the website for e-mail updates.
UC has now established a set of best management practices for weedy rice, which propagates itself by shattering easily and leaving seed on the soil. According to Brim-DeForest, this seed can lay dormant for many years before germinating.
Weedy rice is easiest to identify at the heading stage, though it is possible to identify before that. UC rice advisors can help in this identification. The weedy rice website can also be helpful.
Because weedy rice shatters easily, Brim-DeForest does not recommend growers or PCAs pull samples themselves and transport them for identification. Contact the farm advisor’s office to get instructions on how to have it identified.
Though it’s not easy, weedy rice can be controlled, according to Luis Espino, UC rice farming systems advisor for Colusa, Glenn and Yolo counties.
Espino is working with growers to do just that. One grower he continues to work with fallowed a 15-acre check in his field for two seasons while employing practices recommended by university researchers.
In this case, the grower fallowed the check, did minimal ground work including running a disc and roller on the field before flushing the field with irrigation water to germinate weeds, including the weedy rice.
With the weeds germinated, the grower applied glyphosate to the fallowed field in two separate applications. Though glyphosate is not a registered product for use in rice, Espino says its use on fallowed rice ground is permitted.
Glyphosate was applied over two seasons to the fallowed field, killing many of the weeds present.
After two seasons, the grower replanted the field in rice. When the rice began to head, he hand-rogued the remaining weedy rice in the field. This appears to have had a positive impact on the grower’s weed pressure, Espino says.
Burning rice fields after harvest has not proven successful, though Brim-DeForest thinks a sufficiently hot fire could have an impact. Because of current air district rules and the spotty effects of rice stubble burning with respect to weedy rice seed, Espino says UC does not recommend burning as a control or treatment method.
The UC will host meetings later in the growing season to update growers on weedy rice.
Growers in Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yuba and Butte counties who suspect weedy rice in fields can contact Brim-DeForest at (530) 822-7515. Growers in Colusa, Glenn and Yolo counties should contact Espino at (530) 458-0570. Those in San Joaquin County can call Michelle Leinfelder-Miles at (209) 953-6120.