Saturday, August 10, 2019

10th August,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter


Direct sowing tech can boost profits, cut pollution, scientists tell farmers
Direct sowing technologies could reduce the greenhouse gas emissions
Description: PTI By PTI August 10, 2019 10:51 IST
Description: tractor-with-mounted-seeder-direct-seeding-of-crops-direct-sowing-tech-shutTractor with mounted seeder performing direct seeding of crops on plowed agricultural field | Shutterstock
Alternative farming practices such as direct sowing technologies could reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from on-farm activities in Northern India by nearly 80 per cent and help lower air pollution in cities like New Delhi, according to a study.
The study, published in the journal Science, shows that the farmers could also increase their profits if they stop burning their rice straw and adopt no-till practices to grow wheat.
Researchers, including those from International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico, compared the costs and benefits of 10 distinct land preparation and sowing practices for northern India's rice-wheat cropping rotations, which are spread across over four million hectares.
The direct seeding of wheat into unplowed soil and shredded rice residues was the best option—it raises farmers' profits through higher yields and savings in labour, fuel, and machinery costs.
To quickly and cheaply clear their fields to sow wheat each year, farmers in northern India burn an estimated 23 million tonnes of straw from their rice harvests, according to researchers, including those from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
Regulations are in place in India to reduce agricultural fires but burning continues because of implementation challenges and lack of clarity about the profitability of alternate, no-burn farming, they noted.
To sow wheat directly without plowing or burning rice straw, farmers need to purchase or rent a tractor-mounted implement known as the "Happy Seeder," as well as attach straw shedders to their rice harvesters.
Leaving straw on the soil as a mulch helps capture and retain moisture and also improves soil quality, according to ML Jat, CIMMYT Principal Scientist, a co-author of the study.
The study demonstrates that it is possible to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in a way that is profitable to farmers and scalable.
It shows that Happy Seeder-based systems are on average 10-20 per cent more profitable than straw burning options.
"Our study dovetails with 2018 policies put in place by the government of India to stop farmers from burning, which includes a USD166 million subsidy to promote mechanisation to manage crop residues within fields," said Priya Shyamsundar from US-based charity The Nature Conservancy.
Shyamsundar, first author of the study, noted that relatively few Indian farmers currently sow their wheat using the Happy Seeder but manufacturing of the Seeder had increased in recent years.
"Less than a quarter of the total subsidy would pay for widespread adoption of the Happy Seeder, if aided by government and NGO support to build farmer awareness and impede burning," she said.
"With a rising population of 1.6 billion people, South Asia hosts 40 per cent of the world's poor and malnourished on just 2.4 per cent of its land," said Jat.
"Better practices can help farmers adapt to warmer winters and extreme, erratic weather events such as droughts and floods, which are having a terrible impact on agriculture and livelihoods.
"In addition, India's efforts to transition to more sustainable, less polluting farming practices can provide lessons for other countries facing similar risks and challenges," he said.
Researchers noted that in November 2017, more than 4,000 schools closed in Delhi due to seasonal smog.
This smog increases during October and November when fields are burned.
It causes major transportation disruptions and poses health risks across northern India, including Delhi, a city of more than 18 million people.
Some of these problems can be resolved by the use of direct sowing technologies in northwestern India, researchers said. 
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Valuable anti-diabetic compounds found in Quang Tri organic white rice
Description: https://elevenmyanmar.com/sites/news-eleven.com/files/styles/news_detail_image/public/news-images/rice_14.jpg?itok=zARxRbrb
PUBLISHED 10 AUGUST 2019
by News Desk
HANOI (Viet Nam News/ANN) - Two chemical compounds, Momilactone A and Momilactone B (MA and MB), that can prevent diabetes, obesity and gout through their ability to inhibit enzymes relating to the diseases, have been found in white rice grown in the central province of Quang Tri, scientists have announced.
Research by Associate Professor and Dr Tran Dang Xuan, head of the Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry in Japan’s Hiroshima University, found the MA and MB compounds in Ong Bien organic rice grown in Quang Tri Province under schemes and technology provided by Dai Nam Ong Bien Group Joint Stock Company based in the south-central province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.
The content of the two compounds in Ong Bien organic rice is 100 times higher than those found in other varieties of rice.
Their study revealed that the compounds played an active role in the diabetes inhibitory potential of rice bran.
MA and MB compounds are very rare and have not been fully studied for biological and pharmacological activities. The compound was sold at US$125 per 0.1 mg on carbosynth.com, a company that sells famous biochemical products.
Xuân said that the MA and MB compounds were about as 30,000 times more precious than gold and that “the discovery of the two compounds in white rice created a breakthrough in the world’s plant physiology, especially rice.”
Some studies have previously found rice to have compounds that inhibit diabetes, but only in brown or red rice, which are often of poor quality and difficult to consume.
“Today, people tend to have less rice in their diet because rice contains starch which causes obesity and diabetes. However, with high content of MA and MB, Ong Bien organic rice can help prevent the disease,” Xuân said.
Several recent reports indicate that there are more than 3 million people in Vietnam suffering from or at risk of diabetes, so the results of this study are particularly significant.
Vietnam's Health Ministry and relevant agencies have not yet commented or verified the claims – including the rice's nutrition values, its content of MA and MB and its anti-diabetics ability.
Tran Ngoc Nam, Director General of Đại Nam Trade and Production Ltd Company said that since 2016, the company co-operated with Quang Tri Province’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department to grow the variety.
Under their co-operation programme, rice was watered and fertilised with only organic fertilisers made by the company. No other plant protection product or chemical fertiliser was used for the rice.
The rice is now grown on a total area of about 200 ha in Quang Tri Province, generating stable income of VND30-40 million per hectare for farmers, according to Nam.
The rice is available in supermarkets across Vietnam branded Ong Bien Organic rice or Quang Tri organic rice


To cut smog and boost profits, stop burning fields, scientists tell Indian farmers

THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION
  • AUG 9, 2019

ROME – Every year, a choking smog descends on northwest India as the region’s farmers burn their fields following the rice harvest — a phenomenon that has helped make New Delhi one of the world’s most polluted cities.
Now scientists have come up with a method that would allow farmers to sow their winter crop — usually wheat — without burning off the stubble left behind after the rice harvest.
Researchers tested 10 alternatives to burning, finding that the biggest profits could be achieved with a machine called the Happy Seeder.
The new method would allow farmers to produce more food, boost profits by up to 20 percent and cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 78 percent, according to a study published on Thursday.
“Our analysis suggests that it is possible to reduce air pollution and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in a way that is profitable to farmers and scalable,” said the study, by a group of scientists from India and other countries.
“Our analysis strongly suggests that India has an opportunity, through coordinated public and private actions, to reduce burning, increase incomes, and transition to more sustainable agriculture while addressing the urgent problem of seasonal air pollution.”
The Happy Seeder is already being used on about 800,000 hectares of farmland used to grow wheat in winter and rice in summer — but that represents a tiny proportion of the 4 million hectares in northwest India known as the country’s breadbasket.
“The plan next year is to reach close to 2 million hectares. We’re hopeful,” said co-author M.L. Jat, principal scientist with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre.
With a Happy Seeder costing $2,000, cost remains a major barrier, but farmers can hire a contractor to plant their crops with the machine, Jat said.
The study’s authors are urging the government and private sector to promote the machine’s use through subsidies.
Every year, farmers in northwest India burn an estimated 23 million tons of rice straw to clear the land quickly and cheaply in time to grow wheat, the study said.
If piled on top of each other, the amount would cover 1.1 times the distance to the moon.
India officially restricts the use of crop burning, but the practice persists and bans are rarely enforced.
The resulting seasonal smog disrupts transportation and threatens public health, said the paper, published hours after a major U.N. report called for big changes to farming to curtail global warming.
Scientists Find Out How Leaping Maggots Leap
LISTEN·3:
August 9, 20194:29 PM ET
Description: Nell Greenfieldboyce 2010
Description: https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2019/08/09/larva_custom-2e25252c5ab0c71d2057160c29e48933a757955a-s1200-c85.jpg
A tiny goldenrod midge maggot with a ruler and hands for scale.
The Patek Lab at Duke University
Scientists have discovered how a tiny worm-like creature with no arms, legs or wings nonetheless manages to perform stupendous leaps through the air.
The acrobatic feats of these larvae were first noticed by Mike Wise of Roanoke College a few years ago, and now, in the Journal of Experimental Biology, he and some colleagues explain this critter's unusual trick.
Wise studies how plants defend themselves from hungry insects, and one day he was dissecting tumor-like swellings on goldenrod that form around the maggot-like larvae of developing flies.
"The larvae get as big, when they're full grown, as, say, a small grain of rice," says Wise, who adds that the maggot-like creatures are bright orange. "Generally I take the larvae out, and put them in a little dish next to my microscope. And they barely move. They may wiggle around just a little bit."
Description: Midge close up
Source: Journal of Experimental Biology, Farley et al.
One day, after he'd spent about an hour removing a dozen or so, he looked down at the dish and they were gone.
"I was wondering what was going on," recalls Wise. "And then I caught out of the corner of my eye a little bit of motion, a little orange larva jumping across my table."
All around him, the larvae were leaping. "I looked on the floor and there had been some that had jumped all the way to the wall," says Wise.
To understand how they were doing this, he brought bouquets of infested goldenrod to the lab of Sheila Patek, a biologist at Duke University who studies small, extremely fast things — like the deadly strike of the mantis shrimp or the snapping bite of trap-jaw ants.
"I know that sounds super quirky," says Patek. "But it turns out that this arena of biology is a very interesting one," because these creatures do stuff that engineers can only dream of.
Her lab filmed Wise's leaping larvae with some of the world's best high-speed cameras.
Description: A Larva Leaps
Credit: Journal of Experimental Biology, Farley et al
What they found is that these wormy guys start by curling up into a loop. Lab member Grace Farley found that the creatures have a special patch of hair on their heads that sticks to a patch of hair on their rear ends.
"They're using essentially dry adhesion with microscopic hairs that they touch together between their head and their tail," says Patek.
Then the critters squeeze fluid through their soft bodies to stiffen up the part that's against the ground. They keep doing that until they've generated enough force that it suddenly unsticks the hairs and launches them up into the air.
Sarah Bergbreiter, a mechanical engineer at Carnegie Mellon University, was impressed.
"One of the really cool things about it is that these are soft-bodied jumpers. That means they're squishy and they can jump over 30 body lengths, which is pretty incredible," says Bergbreiter, adding, "It's comparable to fleas which we think of as great jumpers."
She and other researchers are interested in developing robots that are soft instead of rigid and clunky.
"Robots can be far more robust if they have these softer materials as part of them," says Bergbreiter. "They have incredible advantages in that you can step on them and they can still move, but they typically have these very awkward and inefficient gaits."
These soft-bodied creatures, however, jump around by effectively creating a sort of temporary leg."The idea that a soft robot could kind of develop this appendage that's useful for the moment and then reconfigure it into something else," she says, "is pretty cool."

Archaeology can help us learn from history to build a sustainable future for food

Description: Feeding the world: archaeology can help us learn from history to build a sustainable future for food
Credit: HoangTuan_photography/PixabayCC BY-SA
What we eat can harm not only our health, but the planet itself. About a quarter of all the greenhouse gas emissions that humans generate each year come from how we feed the world. Most of them are methane released by cattle, nitrogen oxides from chemical fertilisers and carbon dioxide from the destruction of forests to grow crops or raise livestock.
All of these gases trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere. Extreme weather events like floods and droughts are becoming more frequent and severe in our warming world, destroying crops and disrupting growing seasons. As a result, climate change could wreak havoc on already precarious food supplies. The challenges for agriculture are vast, and they'll only mount as the world's population grows.
The new special report on climate and land by the IPCC warns that without drastic changes in global land use, agriculture and human diets, efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions will fall significantly short of targets to hold global temperature rise below 1.5°C.
food system that produces nutritious food without harming the environment or other aspects of our well-being is sorely needed. But can it produce enough food to feed billions of people while reversing biodiversity loss and pollution?
This is where I believe archaeologists and anthropologists can help. Our recent paper in World Archaeology explores past agricultural systems and how they could help make agriculture more sustainable today.
Description: Feeding the world: archaeology can help us learn from history to build a sustainable future for food
The canals used in Waru Waru farming could make food production more resilient to climate change. Credit: Blog de Historia General del Perú
Canals and corn in South America
There's a long history of societies around the world experimenting with the way they produce food. Through these past successes and failures comes perspective on how humans have transformed local environments through agriculture and affected soil properties over thousands of years.
Ancient agricultural practices weren't always in balance with nature—there's some evidence that early food growers damaged their environment with overgrazing or mismanaging irrigation which made the soil saltier. But there are also many instances where past systems of growing food improved soil quality, increased crop yields and protected crops against flooding and drought.
One example originated in Pre-Incan South America, and was commonly used between 300 BC and 1400 AD. The system, known today as Waru Waru, consisted of raised soil beds up to two metres high and up to six metres wide, surrounded by water channels. First discovered by researchers in the 1960s around Lake Titicaca, these raised field systems were introduced into wetland and highland areas of Bolivia and Peru over the following decades.
Although some projects failed, the majority have allowed local farmers to improve crop productivity and soil fertility without using chemicals. Compared to other local agricultural methods, the raised beds capture water during droughts and drain water when there's too much rain. This irrigates the crops all year round. The canal water retains heat and raises the air temperature surrounding the soil beds by 1°C, protecting crops from frost. The fish that colonise the channels also provide an additional food source.
Research is still ongoing, but today these Waru Waru systems are regularly used by farmers throughout South America, including in the Llanos de Moxos, Bolivia – one of the largest wetlands in the world. Waru Waru farming could prove more resilient to the increased flooding and drought that's expected under climate change. It could also grow food in degraded habitats once considered unsuitable for crops, helping ease pressure to clear rainforest.
Description: Feeding the world: archaeology can help us learn from history to build a sustainable future for food
Rice-fish farms produce more food and need fewer chemical pesticides. Credit: Tirtaperwitasari/Shutterstock
Fish as pest control in Asia
Monocultures are a much more familiar method of agriculture to people today. These are the vast fields that contain one type of crop, grown on a huge scale to guarantee higher yields that are easier to manage. But this method can also degrade soil fertility and damage natural habitats and decrease biodiversity. Chemical fertilisers used on these farms leach into rivers and oceans and their pesticides kill wildlife and create resistant pests.
Growing multiple crops, rearing different species of livestock and reserving different habitats for conservation could make food supplies more nutritious and resilient to future shocks in the weather, while also creating more livelihoods and regenerating biodiversity.
That may sound like a lot to consider, but many ancient practices managed to achieve this balance with rather simple means. Some of them are even used today. In southern China, farmers add fish to their rice paddy fields in a method that dates back to the later Han Dynasty (25–220 AD).
The fish are an additional protein source, so the system produces more food than rice farming alone. But another advantage over rice monocultures is that farmers save on costly chemical fertilisers and pesticides—the fish provide a natural pest control by eating weeds and harmful pests such as the rice planthopper.
Research throughout Asia has shown that compared to fields that only grow rice, rice-fish farming increases rice yields by up to 20%, allowing families to feed themselves and sell their surplus food at market. These rice-fish farms are vital to smallholder communities, but today they're increasingly pushed out by larger commercial organisations wishing to expand monoculture rice or fish farms.
Rice-fish farming could feed more people than current monocultures while using less of the agricultural chemicals which pollute water and generate greenhouse gas emissions.
The enduring success of these ancient methods remind us that we could reimagine our entire food system to feed ten billion people while rejuvenating wildlife and locking carbon away. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we should look to what worked in the past and adapt it for the future.
Alternatives to burning can increase Indian farmers' profits and cut pollution
A new economic study in the journal Science shows that thousands of farmers in northern India could increase their profits if they stop burning their rice straw and adopt no-till practices to grow wheat. Alternative farming practices could also cut farmers' greenhouse gas emissions from on-farm activities by as much as 78% and help lower air pollution in cities like New Delhi.

The new study compares the costs and benefits of 10 distinct land preparation and sowing practices for northern India's rice-wheat cropping rotations, which are spread across more than 4 million hectares. The direct seeding of wheat into unplowed soil and shredded rice residues was the best option -- it raises farmers' profits through higher yields and savings in labor, fuel, and machinery costs.

The study, conducted by a global team of eminent agriculture and environmental scientists, was led by researchers from The Nature Conservancy, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) and the University of Minnesota.

A burning issue

To quickly and cheaply clear their fields to sow wheat each year, farmers in northern India burn an estimated 23 million tons of straw from their rice harvests. That enormous mass of straw, if packed into 20-kilogram 38-centimeter-high bales and piled on top of each other, would reach a height of over 430,000 kilometers -- about 1.1 times the distance to the moon.
 Regulations are in place in India to reduce agricultural fires but burning continues because of implementation challenges and lack of clarity about the profitability of alternate, no-burn farming.
 Farmers have alternatives, the study shows. To sow wheat directly without plowing or burning rice straw, farmers need to purchase or rent a tractor-mounted implement known as the "Happy Seeder," as well as attach straw shedders to their rice harvesters. Leaving straw on the soil as a mulch helps capture and retain moisture and also improves soil quality, according to M.L. Jat, CIMMYT Principal Scientist, cropping systems specialist and a co-author of the study.

Win-win

The Science study demonstrates that it is possible to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in a way that is profitable to farmers and scalable.

The paper shows that Happy Seeder-based systems are on average 10%-20% more profitable than straw burning options.

"Our study dovetails with 2018 policies put in place by the government of India to stop farmers from burning, which includes a US$166 million subsidy to promote mechanization to manage crop residues within fields," said Priya Shyamsundar, Lead Economist, Global Science, of The Nature Conservancy and first author of the study.

Shyamsundar noted that relatively few Indian farmers currently sow their wheat using the Happy Seeder but manufacturing of the Seeder had increased in recent years. "Less than a quarter of the total subsidy would pay for widespread adoption of the Happy Seeder, if aided by government and NGO support to build farmer awareness and impede burning."

"With a rising population of 1.6 billion people, South Asia hosts 40% of the world's poor and malnourished on just 2.4% of its land," said Jat, who recently received India's prestigious Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award for outstanding and impact-oriented research contributions in natural resource management and agricultural engineering. "Better practices can help farmers adapt to warmer winters and extreme, erratic weather events such as droughts and floods, which are having a terrible impact on agriculture and livelihoods. In addition, India's efforts to transition to more sustainable, less polluting farming practices can provide lessons for other countries facing similar risks and challenges."

In November 2017, more than 4,000 schools closed in Delhi due to seasonal smog. This smog increases during October and November when fields are burned. It causes major transportation disruptions and poses health risks across northern India, including Delhi, a city of more than 18 million people.
 Some of these problems can be resolved by the use of direct sowing technologies in northwestern India.

"Within one year of our dedicated action using about US$75 million under the Central Sector Scheme on 'Promotion of agriculture mechanization for in-situ management of crop residue in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi,' we could reach 0.8 million hectares of adoption of Happy Seeder/zero tillage technology in the northwestern states of India," said Trilochan Mohapatra, director general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). "Considering the findings of the Science article as well as reports from thousands of participatory validation trials, our efforts have resulted in an additional direct farmer benefit of US$131 million, compared to a burning option," explained Mohapatra, who is also secretary of India's Department of Agricultural Research and Education.

###

About CIMMYT

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is the global leader in publicly-funded maize and wheat research and related farming systems. Headquartered near Mexico City, CIMMYT works with hundreds of partners throughout the developing world to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat cropping systems, thus improving global food security and reducing poverty. CIMMYT is a member of the CGIAR System and leads the CGIAR Research Programs on Maize and Wheat, and the Excellence in Breeding Platform. The Center receives support from national governments, foundations, development banks and other public and private agencies.

About The Nature Conservancy - India

We are a science-led global conservation organisation that works to protect ecologically important lands and water for nature and people. We have been working in India since 2015 to support India's efforts to "develop without destruction". We work closely with the Indian government, research institutions, NGOs, private sector organisations and local communities to develop science-based, on-the-ground, scalable solutions for some of the country's most pressing environmental challenges. Our projects are aligned with India's national priorities of conserving rivers and wetlands, address air pollution from crop residue burning, sustainable advancing renewable energy and reforestation goals, and building health, sustainable and smart cities. http://7thspace.com/headlines/929656/alternatives_to_burning_can_increase_indian_farmers_profits_and_cut_pollution.html
USA Rice COO Bob Cummings Retires


ARLINGTON, VA -- Thursday evening, USA Rice staff celebrated Bob Cummings, who is retiring from USA Rice after 20 years.

As the lead staff for all USA Rice trade policy Bob has helped the organization maneuver through a multitude of trade disputes and been the chief negotiator of several important trade agreements that have served the U.S. rice industry well.

Among Bob's many stand out accomplishments was his leadership during the GMO crisis starting in 2006, his commitment to guide the industry through the cleanup of the rice crop, and to serve as an expert witness in the legal disputes that resulted from the incident.  He was instrumental in the establishment of COL-RICE during the Colombia free trade negotiations, a structure that continues to return research dollars to our industry, helped open access for U.S. rice in Taiwan and Korea, and was the industry's proponent on several successful cases in the WTO about rice trade in Turkey, Mexico, and China.

Bob began his career as a trade analyst at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and included a stint as senior economist and speech writer at the U.S. Trade Representative's Office.  He joined USA Rice in 1999 at a time of transition as the industry had recently united under the USA Rice umbrella.

"Since the time he's been with USA Rice, Bob has been instrumental in every multilateral and bilateral negotiation concerning rice," said Michael Rue, a California rice farmer and chair of the USA Rice Asia Trade Policy Subcommittee.  "His value is more than just what he does every day; it's the history that he brings with him."

At the 2019 July Business Meeting in Dallas last month, Bob was presented with a photographic collage of the many international cities he has traveled to over the years in service of the rice industry.

"Bob's experience and dedication to the job will be sorely missed by all of us but we certainly wish him all the best in his much deserved retirement," said USA Rice President
& CEO Betsy Ward.  

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Certified seed now required for California rice growers

Timothy Blank of the California Crop Improvement Association takes samples of weedy rice from a northern California rice field. Growers are now required by law to use certified seed, or in the case of varieties where seed ownership is unknown -- like Japanese varieties and some colored rice -- stringent quality assurance protocols are employed to ensure growers get clean seed.
California rice growers must now plant certified seed. No more saving seed for the following year.
What started 20 years ago as an industry conversation over potential pest and disease challenges culminated with the implementation of a certified seed program now required of all rice growers in California.
The forward-thinking action of the California rice industry that now has a 12-member board that reports to the Secretary of Food and Agriculture is an event, in hindsight, California Rice Commission President Tim Johnson says allowed the industry to require and police a new certified seed requirement under the marketing order governing rice.
“Looking back 20 years this is probably one of the more significant actions we’ve taken as an industry,” Johnson said. “We could not have required that all seed in 2019 be a class of quality assurance or certified seed had it not been for this act.”

Weedy rice

The rediscovery of weedy rice, also known as red rice, in California in 2003 is today why the industry added this layer of protection to preserve the quality and integrity of its medium-grain and specialty rice production.
Since its discovery in a northern California rice field in 2003 the University of California has surveyed 14,000 acres of rice checks that have some level of weedy rice infestation.
“It’s how we count the fields,” said Whitney Brim-DeForest, Cooperative Extension rice advisor for the counties of Sutter, Yuba, Placer, Butte and Sacramento.
For instance, a 40-acre check identified with several weedy rice plants will be counted as 40 acres, even though there may be a small patch of red rice in the field.

What is it?

Weedy rice is the same genus and species as cultivate rice, according to Luis Espino, Cooperative Extension rice advisor in the counties of Yolo, Glenn and Colusa. This creates several challenges related to identification, rice quality at milling, and control. Current herbicides used in rice cannot control it. Hand rogueing is the only effective method to control its spread as seed can lay dormant in the soil for years, Espino said.
There are six identified biotypes of weedy rice in California with two more possible biotypes being studied by experts for inclusion.
Historical records show weedy rice in California was present in 1917. In 1980 a researcher wrote that weedy rice could not be found in California.
In 2003 it was reported in Glenn County. By 2006 six fields in Glenn and Colusa counties had a single biotype of the weed.
“Some of these fields are still dealing with it,” Espino said.
By 2016 five biotypes of the weed had spread to several thousand acres of northern California rice fields.
What makes weedy rice troublesome for growers isn’t just the reduced quality of milled rice; weedy rice shatters easily, meaning it falls from the plant and then becomes seed that aids in its spread. Common cultivation practices can spread this seed across fields.
The weed also competes for fertilizer and space in the field. Studies from the southern U.S. documented yield losses of cultivated rice ranging from 27-45 percent, Espino said.

Certified Rice

California now requires growers to document and prove their use of certified rice seed, according to Charley Mathews, a rice grower near Marysville, Calif. and current chairman of USA Rice.
“We gave everybody a heads up on this a few years ago,” Mathews said.
The 2019 crop year is the first season where certified rice seed is required. Enforcement of this is handled by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
“Looking back, we were well-positioned when weedy rice popped up to control this as an industry and set these protocols in place,” Johnson added, noting that other rice-producing states have been watching California and may be working to emulate similar programs in those growing regions.
California rice seed is either certified clean by means of documenting the seed source or is subjected to quality assurance protocols in the case of Japanese rice varieties, where U.S. officials cannot certify the original seed source because they don’t own it. For most of the rice planted in California – medium grain varieties developed by California researchers account for over 85 percent of the planted rice in the state – this is not an issue as the origin is documented and traceability is assured through foundation seed sources at the Rice Experiment Station.
Timothy Blank, certified seed program representative with the California Crop Improvement Association (CCIA), said the rice certification and quality assurance process is operated through the non-profit CCIA. The organization is an approved third-party group called for in the marketing order to assure cleanliness of the seed used.
“We’ve had a zero-tolerance for red rice from the beginning,” Blank said.

Identification

While weedy rice plant types vary, they are usually taller, lighter green, and more vigorous with more tillers than cultivated rice, Espino said. Nevertheless, it requires verification by university specialists or the CCIA as it can easily be confused with watergrass or sprangletop.
The University of California no longer encourages growers to pull suspected plants and transport them to the Rice Experiment Station for identification. Growers are urged to contact their local rice extension agent for instructions on how to handle identification. UC now has a weedy rice reporter mobile app that can be used to report potential finds. The mobile app can geotag the location, making it easier for researchers to find suspected weedy rice finds.

Management

Aside from using certified seed, growers can employ stale seedbed protocols in the spring and during the growing season. Prior to that, Espino says disking should be avoided post-harvest to prevent the spread of seeds. Burning and flooding during the fall and winter may help, Brim-DeForest says, but she cautions that research does not yet back up this theory.
Hand rogueing remains the most effective means of weed control as herbicide treatments are either ineffective or not labeled.
While the Rice Commission successfully won another year of approval to use Intrepid on the Armyworm, efforts to gain provisional approval for spot treatments of weedy rice were not approved by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. The California Rice Commission continues to work with DPR and private industry on herbicide technologies that could improve weed control options for California rice growers.

https://www.farmprogress.com/rice/certified-seed-now-required-california-rice-growers

 

The Rice Paddy at Ground Zero

The installation, across from the 9/11 Memorial, is a reminder that rice does not come from a five pound bag.
No, this is not a box of grass. It is a rice paddy, which was installed next to the Oculus in Downtown Manhattan in June.CreditCreditJulia Gillard for The New York Times
By Devorah Lev-Tov
·       Aug. 9, 2019
Hundreds of people walked through the space between the Oculus and 3 World Trade Center, some pausing to glance up from their phones or conversations long enough to notice a recent addition: Two undulating wooden structures, one large and one small, containing what looked like stalks of grass.
“I walk past this almost every day,” said Gillian Pardi, 25, a dog walker. “I noticed it a few weeks ago and I keep seeing the little sprouts getting taller and taller.”
But these are not mere sprouts or stalks of grass. They are rice plants.
The temporary rice paddy installation is the creation of Danielle Chang, the Taiwanese-American founder of LuckyRice, a lifestyle brand, and the nonprofit Lucky Chow, both of which promote Asian culture through a culinary lens.
Signs around the planters explain that rice provides more than one-fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans; that there are more than 120,000 varieties of rice grown globally; and that rice was used instead of mortar during part of the building of the Great Wall of China.
 “When I thought about creating a public art installation in New York, which is something I’ve always wanted to do, I thought it would just be really disruptive to be able to plant a rice paddy right in the heart of New York City,” said Ms. Chang, who has a background in art history and art curation. And she said it isn’t a coincidence that the paddy is across from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
“We wanted to create something that amplified renewal through remembrance,” Ms. Chang said. “And then you can talk about urban farming and issues of sustainability and responsible growing, climate change, and how we’re going to feed the world — because rice really is the grain that feeds the world.”
Ms. Chang partnered with the Port Authority to plant the rice, which will continue to grow through Sept. 26, when it will be harvested for a feast atop 3 World Trade Center.
This isn’t the first downtown harvest. The rice paddy is an echo of Agnes Denes’s “Wheatfield: A Confrontation,” an installation from 1982, in which the artist planted wheat atop the landfill that is now Battery Park City.
“‘Wheatfield’ was such a great recognition of, like, yes, you can produce this type of food that’s typically in the Midwest here in New York, a block away from the World Trade Center, and this is what it looks like,” said Jeremy Katich, Project Manager from ZH Architects, who built the wooden structure for the paddy. The company used sustainable cross-laminated timber strong enough to hold the several tons of soil and water necessary to grow rice.
Nick Storrs, a farmer who has grown several varieties of rice on Randalls Island for years, was hired to oversee the project. Mr. Storrs enjoys working with rice in particular because while Americans consume plenty of rice, many haven’t actually seen it growing. “It’s just food that comes in a five-pound bag,” he explained.
In April, Mr. Storrs started working with City-As-School, a public high school in the West Village, to plant Japanese, Uzbek, Italian, Madagascan and American rice seedlings in the school’s greenhouse and hydroponic lab. Keyera McLaurin, 17, served as the project manager. She had never seen rice growing before.
“I actually learned that, you know, stuff that we eat really takes nurturing,” Keyera said. Throughout the spring, she checked on the seedlings daily. Then, in June, Keyera and her classmates helped transplant the seedlings downtown, where residents, professionals and tourists in the area started to take notice.
Nick Fabiano, 24, and Colleen Gates, 25, colleagues who work inside 3 World Trade Center, have been watching the paddy develop this summer. “I know rice is grown in paddies underwater; I’ve seen pictures online,” said Mr. Fabiano, who, when he first walked by the installation, didn’t know what he was looking at until he read the sign.
(Admittedly, the 65-foot urban paddy is quite humble compared to the lush images of terraced rice paddies in Southeast Asia.)
“I eat rice five out of seven days; it’s one of my staples,” Ms. Gates said. “It’s so cool to watch, it’s already grown so much from when they put it up a month ago.”
Reactions like these are exactly what Ms. Chang and Mr. Storrs were hoping for.
“I really like the idea of breaking rice from this role as a commodity,” Mr. Storrs said, “where it’s only a finished product and getting people to think about the origins of that food and the origins of that meal.”
Of course, there are some people who know exactly what they are looking at. Kong-Min Lee, 10, who was visiting New York with his parents from South Korea, had no trouble identifying the plant. Although he didn’t expect to see it on his trip to New York City.
“It’s rice,” he said. “But why is it growing here?”

From Food Truck To 3 Restaurants: The Rise Of Hot Indian Foods

By Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A set of three tacos. What looks like a burrito. It’s not what you’d expect from traditional Indian food.
“Dare I say [it’s] sexy, down to earth and cheeky,” said Amol Dixit, the founder and CEO of Hot Indian Foods, a Minnesota start-up that began as a food truck and has grown into three restaurants, a catering business and two carts in sports stadiums.
Unlike many food business founders, Dixit is not a chef.
“I spent 15 years at General Mills in marketing, brand is my training,” he said.
Dixit started with the idea of sharing Indian flavors with people who may be intimidated by them. So he put chicken tikka masala in roti bread (an Indian bread the size of a tortilla), rolled it, and called it an Induritto.
He wanted bowls, but with Basmati rice and pork vindaloo or spinach paneer.
He hired a chef to help develop that, and he hired a branding firm to help him realize his vision for the company he was calling “Hot Indian.”
“When I first started thinking of names, they all felt a little too corporate-y. They all had the word masala or bollywood. One day I looked at my wife, who I think is a very attractive Indian woman and I said, ‘What if I just call this thing ‘Hot Indian?’” Dixit said, adding that his wife chuckled at the idea. That’s when he knew he had found the perfect name.
Dixit was worried he couldn’t afford to hire a top branding firm, because as a start-up the budget is tight. But as luck would have it, a local firm that Dixit worked with at General Mills was expanding into entrepreneurial start-up work, and offered him a deal.
“Start-ups can be nimble and agile and insert things like a sense of humor and can do things differently than say, a company you’d see in the cereal aisle that has to appeal to the entire nation,” said JoEllen Martinson Davis, associate creative director at Ultra Creative.
“Amol came to us with the name ‘Hot Indian,’ we helped to imagine and bring to life his ambition,” said Martinson Davis.
Ultra Creative came up with Hot Indian’s logo, a color palette, the initial food truck design; and iteration after iteration of the Hot Indian logo – a fictional woman named Sona.
“We needed a guide,” Dixit said. “This was one of the original faces of Sona. You put a banner in her hand, food on a stick, boom it’s a State Fair logo.” In fact, Hot Indian will be at the Midtown Global Market booth at the 2019 Minnesota State Fair, from Aug. 22- Aug. 27.
Over six years, he’s seen the branding at play inside Target Field, Allianz too, and in restaurants in Midtown Global Market, the Minneapolis downtown skyway, and now at the 3rd floor North End Food Hall at Mall of America.
Known for cheeky inserts on the trays teaching guests to give the perfect HI (Hot Indian) Five, and a discount offered to diners who do a Bollywood Dance at the register, Dixit’s brand has formed a connection with guests that Ultra Creative said was designed to make it stand out.
“The strong logo, a good experience, makes a big difference in somebody’s day,” Davis said.
Dixit said he knows the brand is key, but ultimately it comes down to the food.
“At the end of the day the food has to carry,” he said. “The brand can help bring people in, if the foods no good, no one’s gonna come back.”

Thai rice price surges compared to other Asian countries

VNA PRINT
Description: https://cdnimgen.vietnamplus.vn/t660/uploaded/wbxx/2019_08_09/thai_rice.jpg
Illustrative image (Source: www.thaivisa.com)

Hanoi (VNA) – 
Rice export prices in Thailand rose sharply this week on worries that the country’s worst drought in about a decade could reduce supply.

Thailand’s benchmark 5-percent broken rice prices rose to 406-435 USD per tonne this week from 395-405 USD quoted last week.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s rates for this rice remained unchanged from last week at 340-350 USD per tonne.

India’s 5-percent broken parboiled variety prices fell to around 377-381 USD per tonne this week from 381-384 USD last week due to a depreciation in the rupee.

A strong bath contributed to Thai higher rice prices than other Asian hubs.

The dry conditions have also affected the quality of rice, which led to an increase in domestic rice prices, a Bangkok-based trader said.-VNA

Thai rice price rises, Vietnam plans shipment to Malaysia

·       CORPORATE NEWS
·       Friday, 09 Aug 2019
6:39 AM MYT
A farmer harvests rice in a paddy field outside Hanoi, Vietnam June 10, 2019. REUTERS
BENGALURU: Rice export prices in Thailand rose this week on worries that the country's worst drought in about a decade could further squeeze supply, while Vietnam explored potential deals in the south American market.
Thailand's benchmark 5-percent broken rice prices rose to US$406-$425 a tonne on Thursday from $395-$405 quoted last week.
"Harvesting has started in some areas and the dry conditions have affected the quality of the rice... which led to an increase in domestic rice prices, " a Bangkok-based trader said.
Water levels in dams nationwide are far short of the monthly average, Thailand's meteorological department said.
"Many exporters are also trying to buy rice to shore up their stocks amid concerns over a possible shortage, and this drove the price up, " another rice trader said.
Thai prices were also higher than other Asian hubs, with a strong baht also contributing to the high rates even as demand remained flat.
Meanwhile, Vietnam's rates for 5% broken rice remained unchanged from last week at $340-$350 a tonne.
Preliminary data showed 103, 000 tonnes of rice is to be loaded at Ho Chi Minh City ports during Aug. 2-10, with 42% bound for West Africa, 29% for Iraq and the remainder for the Philippines and Malaysia.
A delegation from the Vietnam Food Association was in Mexico earlier this week to seek opportunities to ship Vietnamese rice to south America as the country was seeking new markets for the grain, a source with the association said.
Data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development released on Wednesday showed Vietnam exported 651, 000 tonnes of rice in July, beating a government forecast of 600, 000 tonnes.
Prices for top-exporter India's 5 percent broken parboiled variety fell to around $377-$381 per tonne this week from $381-$384 last week due to a depreciation in the rupee.
"As the government has procured a large amount of paddy rice, supplies are limited in the market. Exporters have to pay higher prices for paddy, " said Ashwin Shah, director at Shah Nanji Nagsi Exports Pvt. Ltd, an exporter based in Nagpur in central India.
India's rice exports are likely to fall to their lowest in seven years, industry officials said, on weak demand from Africa and as shippers absorb the lack of government incentives that supported previous sales.
In neighbouring Bangladesh, floods washed away crops that would have yielded nearly 400, 000 tonnes of rice, according to estimates from the agriculture ministry. - Reuters