Saturday, September 21, 2019

21st September,2019 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter

With Trump vote in mind, Japan yields on beef but protects its rice
Motegi and Lighthizer to finalize trade deal details ahead of next week's summit
RINTARO TOBITA and ALEX FANG, Nikkei staff writers
SEPTEMBER 21, 2019 04:18 JST

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, who is also president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, eats rice from local supporters in FukushiDescription: https://www.ft.com/__origami/service/image/v2/images/raw/https%3A%2F%2Fs3-ap-northeast-1.amazonaws.com%2Fpsh-ex-ftnikkei-3937bb4%2Fimages%2F3%2F1%2F9%2F1%2F22681913-1-eng-GB%2Fabe%20rice.jpg?source=nar-cmsma during the 2017 lower house election campaign.   © Reuters
TOKYO/NEW YORK -- Japan will not offer the U.S. tariff exemptions for rice in their soon-to-be-signed trade deal, Nikkei has learned.
The exemptions would have been granted under the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and the decision not to offer them this time marks a different approach by Tokyo than for beef.
Japan is ready to compromise on beef, reflecting political considerations on both sides as the clock ticks toward a final bilateral trade deal.
Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, who has led Japan's negotiating team, will work out the remaining details on the home turf of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are set to sign the deal this coming Wednesday in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
Tokyo's calculations seem closely aligned with the American electoral map. Tokyo is driving a harder bargain on rice than it did with the TPP, which Washington withdrew from after Trump took office. The U.S. would have been able to export up to 70,000 tons a year of rice tariff-free under the TPP, but Japan does not plan to include a zero-tariff allowance in this trade deal.
For Trump, seeking a second term in the 2020 election, there is more to gain from low-tariff beef exports to Japan than from rice, which will likely make the trade-off easier to accept.
Most U.S. rice production is concentrated in the South -- home to Republican leader Trump's key support base. But short-grain rice, the most commonly consumed type in Japan, is almost exclusively grown in the heavily Democratic-leaning state of California.
Description: https://www.ft.com/__origami/service/image/v2/images/raw/https%3A%2F%2Fs3-ap-northeast-1.amazonaws.com%2Fpsh-ex-ftnikkei-3937bb4%2Fimages%2F_aliases%2Farticleimage%2F5%2F1%2F0%2F2%2F22682015-1-eng-GB%2Fmake%20farmers%20great.jpg?source=nar-cmsU.S. President Donald Trump holds up "Make Our Farmers Great Again!" caps as he departs from the White House in 2018.   © Reuters
Japan is the top export market for the state's rice, according to the Rice Growers Association of California. Yet the industry's size relative to the state's economy, coupled with a liberal political atmosphere in California that is unlikely to shift in 2020, makes its rice exports to Japan low on Trump's agenda.
Meanwhile, Trump in 2016 won eight of the 10 states with the most cattle -- among them Texas, which alone accounts for 13% of the country's cattle inventories.
Motegi, along with new Agriculture Minister Taku Eto and Trade Minister Isshu Sugawara, met Friday to confirm Tokyo's approach to the last few days of negotiations. The two countries reached an accord on the broad outlines of a deal in late August, with an eye toward signing a final version at this month's meeting.
The tougher terms for rice, a politically sensitive crop, aim to get Japanese farmers on board with substantial tariff cuts elsewhere.
The deal is expected to roughly follow the TPP terms on beef and pork on Japan's side. The current 38.5% duty on U.S. beef would be lowered in phases to 9% in April 2033 for about 90% of imports. The tariff on low-grade pork would fall to 50 yen (46 cents) per kilogram from the current 482 yen, with the 4.3% levy on higher-quality pork being phased out.
Washington, meanwhile, is seen expanding its low-tariff allowance for imports of Japanese beef. The current system includes a separate quota for Japanese beef, letting in 200 tons per year with a duty of 4.4 cents per kilogram. Under the new deal, Japan will be added to a broader framework alongside Australia and other trading partners, which permits a total of 64,000 tons in imports per year at the same rate.
"We could export more than 3,000 tons a year with nearly all of it in the low-tariff allowance," a Japanese source familiar with the discussions said.
One of Tokyo's main concerns at this point is putting to rest fears about Trump's long-standing threats to impose tariffs on auto imports from Japan and elsewhere on national security grounds. Such a move could do real damage to the nation's auto industry.
"At a summit in September last year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received direct assurance from President Trump that there will be no additional tariffs on Japanese automobiles," Motegi told Nikkei on Wednesday. "I hope to reconfirm this at the final negotiations for a bilateral trade deal."
At last September's summit, the two sides said in a joint statement that they would "refrain from taking measures against the spirit of" the document. The Japanese side intends to seek another such pledge at the upcoming meeting.
The language may largely resemble the previous statement, setting limits rather than shielding Japan from tariffs indefinitely.
Tokyo has also asserted that it will not accept auto export caps like those included in the revamped North American Free Trade Agreement and is urging Washington to make clear in some way that it will not take such steps with Japan.
Negotiations are expected to continue on the removal of U.S. tariffs on auto parts. The current deal is believed to scrap duties on a wide range of other industrial goods.

Agriculture dep’t to at least double tariffs on imported rice to help local farmers
Published Sep 21, 2019 9:31:13 AM
Description: https://www.cnnphilippines.com/.imaging/mte/demo-cnn-new/750x450/dam/cnn/2018/8/7/rice-import-(4).png/jcr:content/rice%20import%20(4).png
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 21) – The Department of Agriculture said it will at least double tariffs on imported rice in a move to ease the situation of local farmers suffering from low prices of their produce.
“We have to holistically and systematically protect the consuming public and much more, the farmers," Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement. "So I have taken the necessary steps and the direction where we will enforce legal messures to at least double the current tarrif of 35 percent during these times when we have greatly exceeded the volume needed to fill up the slack in national rice supply," Dar added.
In an earlier statement, he said the DA will release by the end of the month an order raising duties on rice from Southeast Asian countries to 75 percent from the current 35 percent while tariff on imported rice from other countries will be increased to 100 percent from 50 percent.
Dar's succeeding statement removed reference to the numbers except to say that the current 35 percent tariff will at least be doubled. It also said another option is to impose stringent sanitary and pythosanitary and inspection measures on rice imports.
He said the DA will protect farmers by not allowing additional imports especially this main harvest season and so that they can benefit from the respectable farmgate prices of palay set by the government through the National Food Authority.
Asked for an explanation, Dar told CNN Philippines that the earlier statement was "recast" because they are still discussing the numbers.
The agriculture chief noted that there is an oversupply of rice in the country following the implementation of the rice tariffication act, a measure that opened the country to rice imports.
Farmers have been complaining that the deluge of imports has caused a plunge in prices of unmilled rice or palay, while a lawmaker blames natural disaster.
Dar said the government imported 2.4 million metric tons of rice in February 2019 and this is beyond what is needed by this country.
The move to increase tariffs is in line with the Anti-Dumping Act of 1999 wherein anti-dumping duties are imposed on imports which the government determines to be priced below fair market value, the statement added.
The DA said that the country produces 93 percent of its rice supply. The remaining rice requirement for the Filipino food staple is sourced abroad.
According to a Philippine Statistics Authority data, as of the second week of August 2019, the average farmgate price of palay was ₱17.62 per kilogram, lower than the ₱22.28 per kg in the same period last year.
This translates to a decline of about 21-percent. The production cost of unmilled rice is around ₱12.
To address this, the DA said two weeks ago that it will 'flood' markets with more than 3 million bags of National Food Authority (NFA) imported rice for a month. The measure aims to bring the down rice prices by ₱2 per kilo and raise the support price for palay from ₱17 to ₱19.

Grains in the Rain
 -September 20, 2019
Description: https://seedworld.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/2.Rice-seedlings-Plate-1-1-696x268.jpg
Of the major food crops, only rice is currently able to survive flooding. Thanks to new research, that could soon change — good news for a world in which rains are increasing in both frequency and intensity.
The research, published today in Science, studied how other crops compare to rice when submerged in water. It found that the plants — a wild-growing tomato, a tomato used for farming and a plant similar to alfalfa — all share at least 68 families of genes in common that are activated in response to flooding. 
Rice was domesticated from wild species that grew in tropical regions, where it adapted to endure monsoons and waterlogging. Some of the genes involved in that adaptation exist in the other plants but have not evolved to switch on when the roots are being flooded. 
“We hope to take advantage of what we learned about rice in order to help activate the genes in other plants that could help them survive waterlogging,” says study lead Julia Bailey-Serres, a University of California, Riverside, professor of genetics.
In the study, the team examined cells that reside at the tips of roots of the plant, as roots are the first responders to a flood. Root tips and shoot buds are also where a plant’s prime growing potential resides. These regions contain cells that can help a plant become more resilient to flooding. 
Drilling down even further, the team looked at the genes in these root tip cells, to understand whether and how their genes were activated when covered with water and deprived of oxygen.
“We looked at the way that DNA instructs a cell to create particular stress response in a level of unprecedented detail,” says one of the lead researchers, UC Riverside’s Mauricio Reynoso. 
“This is the first time that a flooding response has been looked at in a way that was this comprehensive, across evolutionarily different species,” adds study co-author Siobhan Brady, an associate professor of plant biology at UC Davis. 
The genes involved in flooding adaptations are called submergence up-regulated families (SURFs). “Since evolution separated the ancestors of rice and these other species as many as 180 million years ago, we did not expect to find 68 SURFs in common,” says co-author Neelima Sinha, professor of plant biology at UC Davis. 
The study was an international collaboration funded by the National Science Foundation’s Plant Genome Research Program. Researchers from UC Davis, as well as Emory, Argentina’s National University of La Plata and Netherland’s Utrecht University participated.
While UC Riverside researchers conducted flooding experiments and analysis of rice plant genomes, scientists at Davis did the same with the tomato species while the alfalfa-type plant work was done at Emory.  
Though the SURFs were activated in all the plants during the flooding experiments, their genetic responses weren’t as effective as in rice. The wild tomato species that grows in desert soil withered and died when flooded. 
Climate change also produces periods of excessive drought, and separate efforts are under way to examine crop resilience to those conditions as well. However, Bailey-Serres said flooding responses are understudied compared to drought, making this work all the more important. 
The group is now planning additional studies to improve the survival rates of the plants that currently die and rot from excess water.  
This year is not the first in which excessive rains have kept farmers from being able to plant crops like corn, soybeans and alfalfa. Floods have also damaged the quality of the crops they were able to grow. As the climate continues to change, this trend is likely to continue. Without efforts to ensure our crops adapt, the security of the world’s food supply is at risk. 
“Imagine a world where kids do not have enough calories and nutrients to develop,” says Bailey-Serres. “We as scientists have an urgency to help plants withstand floods, to ensure food security for the future.”
Source: UC Riverside

Advances in Hybrid Technology Boost the Adoption of Hybrid Rice Seeds in Asia
Description: http://www.marketresearchblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Hybrid-Rice-Seeds-Market-678x381.jpg
One of the biggest breakthroughs in modern agriculture is the breeding and adoption of hybrid rice seeds. Hybrid rice seeds are primarily produced by combing two variants of rice to obtain higher yield. Further, hybrid rice seeds also exhibit higher resistance to pests and have improved ability to withstand harsh climate conditions. Thus, hybrid rice seeds are widely used by farmers across the major rice producing nations in Asia including India, China, Philippines, Vietnam and more. However, one of the issues with hybrid crops is that the seeds are unable to produce plants with the same qualities. Thus, farmers have to invest in new seeds every year which puts significant financial burden on the farmers. Thus, there was a noteworthy increase in the number of research activities towards tackling the aforementioned problems put forward by hybrid rice seeds.
Scientific Breakthroughs Reduce Financial Burden on Farmers
As farmers were compelled to buy new hybrid rice seeds annually, farming with hybrid seeds proved to be an expensive process. However, in 2018, scientists struck gold when a technique to clone hybrid rice seeds was discovered. Scientists from France and the US modified a hybrid variant of Rice Japonica to enable the production of cloned seeds in some plants. Thus, owing to this step forward, farmers can re-plant the seeds from the hybrid plants in their farm and gain higher yields every year without having to purchase new hybrid rice seeds that are expensive. In addition, one of the researchers working on the project has expressed that the discovery has the potential to revolutionize the agricultural landscape in the future. In addition, this seed production approach enables the plant to clone itself without fertilization – which does not affect quality.  Further, this technique is likely to be applicable for a range of other crops including, millets, corn, wheat and barley among others. The research team is focusing on maximizing the efficiency of this technique to ensure its adoption moves in an upward trajectory in the upcoming years.
Improving Food Security with Hybrid Rice Seeds
Natural disasters cause tremendous damage to human lives, infrastructure, agriculture, and various other verticals of life. In addition, natural disasters including, earthquakes, floods, pose as a constant threat to the production of rice and thus, food security is pivotal. Hybrid rice seeds have emerged as one of the most efficient methods to secure food for the future. In addition, as more than 50% of the global population relies on rice, a dent in its production cycle could affect the well-being of millions of people worldwide. Further, it is critical to ensure that the production of rate of rice is in sync with the growing rate of population. However, as the area of cultivable land is not accelerating at the required pace, food security is a growing concern. Hybrid rice seeds are expected to improve food security owing to an enhanced yield of nearly 15-20% in comparison with the traditional inbred rice variants. Another major factor that is likely to drive the prospects of hybrid rice seeds in the upcoming years is its capacity to withstand hostile weather conditions. Moreover, hybrid rice seeds are tolerant to floods, low-temperature, drought, and salinity among others. Thus, owing to the exceptional aforementioned properties of hybrid rice seeds, its adoption has witnessed a healthy growth in nations including, China, Vietnam, and India.
To know more about this market, request a sample@https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/reports/sample/rep-gb-8182

Scientists create first portrait of a Denisovan by analysing chemical changes to DNA

The ancient hominins shared many traits with Neanderthals: Low foreheads and wide rib cages, an elongated face and a wide pelvis; but differed in the structure of jaw and skull

By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Friday 20 September 2019
 An artist’s impression of a young female Denisovan, based on skeletal traits derived from chemical changes to ancient DNA. Photo: Maayan Harel
Scientists have for the first time restructured Denisovans' skeletal features, using DNA methylation (chemical changes), to understand how the long–lost human relative looked like, the Nature reported. 
A team of computational biologists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found Denisovans shared Neanderthal’s facial features, but had a wider jaw and skull.
Until now, only bone fragments and teeth of were discovered from Siberia’s Denisova Cave, which was likely occupied by the ancient humans from more than 200,000 years ago to around 50,000 years ago. Earlier this year, researchers discovered a jawbone from the Tibetan Plateau and a human like finger.  However, these fossils were not large or complete enough for scientists to reconstruct their facial features.
In the study, a team co-led by Liran Carmel and David Gokhman, identified differences in methylation patterns of Denisovans and Neanderthals from those of modern humans.
“It does help to paint a clearer picture of how they might have looked. Just the idea that it’s possible to use the DNA to predict morphology so well is very impressive,” said Bence Viola, a palaeoanthropologist at the University of Toronto in Canada who has analysed Denisovan remains, but was not involved in the research.
An artist's impression of Neanderthal. Photo: Michael Smeltzer, Vanderbilt University
The team used DNA data from two Neanderthals, five ancient and 55 present-day humans, and five chimpanzees, in addition to the Denisovan finger bone, according to the study published in the journal Cell.
The results identified 56 anatomical features in which Denisovans differed from modern humans and/or Neanderthals. Of these 34 features differed in the skull: They had wide heads and long dental arches — a potential adaptation for big teeth.
The researchers also found that the ancient hominins shared many traits with Neanderthals — low foreheads and wide rib cages, an elongated face and a wide pelvis.
However, their fingertip was slender like humans’, not thick like the Neanderthal fingers, the Nature reported.
According to researchers, the novel approach could have wide range of potential applications. They can help predict traits, such as behaviour, that do not leave an impression in the fossil record.

Myanmar to export 10,000 bags of rice to China in a few days
Description: A rice wholesale center in Mandalay
A rice wholesale center in Mandalay
PUBLISHED 20 SEPTEMBER 2019

MIN LATT
Mandalay – Mandalay Rice Development Company (MRDC) had an agreement with a company from China to export 100,000 tons of rice under border barter system and 500 tons (over 10,000 bags of rice) will be exported to China in a few days time, said its managing director Sai Kyaw.
“We will export rice to China this month and they are ready to be sent next week. We planned to send 500 tons initially to learn about the advantages and disadvantages to send rice officially. I think their country had high demand of rice. So they offered us to buy rice from us. If the delivery of the 500 tons of rice is convenience, we will export more rice,” he said.
China agreed to export fertilizers, iron and steel products, construction materials, electronic appliances and farm machinery with five per cent discounts. People and companies who want to import the above mentioned materials, can contact the MRDC.
Traders are targeting to cooperate with importers and exporters to export rice and import goods and machinery from China to create a win-win situation.



Nigeria: Border Closure Positive for Economy - Emefiele

20 SEPTEMBER 2019

By James Emejo
Abuja — The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele Thursday expressed appreciation to the federal government for the recent border closure, noting that it had yielded positive results for the economy, particularly agriculture.
Speaking at a crucial meeting with state governors on how to collaborate towards making their respective states economically viable through agriculture, at the CBN headquarters in Abuja, he said though the apex bank had tried its best to curtail smuggling of rice by blocking bank accounts, the closure of the borders had proved to be a game-changer.
He said: "Our story in rice production has yielded positive results. At this point it really fit to thank and commend the federal government for the border closure.
"Whereas at the CBN we have been doing everything possible through blocking of accounts and all that to restrict smuggling of rice into the country, but we think the border closure has resulted in very good result for all of us and I will give you an example."
According to Emefiele, prior to the closure, about two rice millers had approached him "and said they had about 30,000 metric tonnes each. All of these had large quantities of processed rice in their warehouses that they needed to be purchased but they were not being purchased because of the incidence of smuggling."
He said:"One week after the border was closed, these millers came back and said that all the rice in their warehouses had all been purchased and that in fact, they were even stopping people from paying monies into their accounts because they can't meet demand again.
"That is a good example. What are we doing through this - it is creating jobs for our people. We need to support any efforts that would create jobs and avoid exporting jobs to other countries."
This is as virtually the state governors, who were led to the meeting by Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, all commended Emefiele for an uncommon passion towards the revival of key sectors of the economy, particularly agriculture.
Emefiele had managed to exact commitments from the state chief executives particularly in the area of yielding land for agriculture cultivation.
It was an evening of encomiums for the apex bank boss as the governors took their turns to commend his unprecedented stewardship to the country.
They all promised to provide all the needed support for the smooth running of the CBN intervention programmes in their respective states.
For those who were already on board of the popular anchor borrower programme (ABP), the governors vowed to expand it while those who were yet to join also made commitments to be involved going forward.
Also present at the meeting were governors of Lagos, Jigawa, Anambra, Zamfara, Bauchi, Imo, Benue, Borno, Kebbi, Ogun, Adamawa and Gombe and Sokoto states.
However, Fayemi, while commending the CBN governor, pointed out that agriculture remained the way to go if the country must make any headway- and expressed joy that more states have decided to latch on to the CBN intervention scheme to repositioning their state economy amidst the present fiscal challenges.
Governor of Jigawa State, Mr. Muhammadu Badaru thanked Emefiele adding that "the passion I have seen is enough for me to write a book."

Program tests resilience of rice in frigid, salty soil
    
2019-09-20 10:04:19China DailyEditor : Li Yan

Description: http://i2.chinanews.com/simg/hpic/2019/09-20/pic1-31806529.jpeg
A technician collects rice seedlings for transfer to a salinity test field at the Qingdao Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Research and Development Center. (Photo/Xinhua)
A rice breeding program aimed at testing the resilience of rice strains that can grow in salty, frigid soil at high elevations was launched this week in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.
The program, unveiled in a national agricultural park in Tieli city on Wednesday, is the country's first to test experimental rice species that are tolerant of saline-alkaline land-also known as saltwater rice-in frosty environments in Northeast China, according to the Qingdao Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice Research and Development Center.
"Previous trial planting in parts of Heilongjiang province covered about 0.67 hectares at most. The new program now covers 2 hectares and is expected to expand significantly in the future," said Li Jiming, deputy director of the research center based in Shandong province.
Currently, the average annual output of saltwater rice varieties planted in salty land in Northeast China stands at about 3.75 metric tons per hectare, Li said. It is generally acknowledged that a new strain of rice attains market potential if it can yield more than 4.5 tons per hectare, agricultural experts have said.
By applying these varieties to the harsh conditions in Tieli, which is situated between the alkalized stretches of Songnen Plain and the snowcapped Lesser Khingan Mountain, Li said the program is intended to breed and select a few strains that demonstrate the highest yields and resilience.
"Freezing temperatures will be a major impediment to our cultivation," he said."Rice seedlings die out quickly as soon as frost develops on their stalks."
According to Li, there are about 2.7 million hectares of saline-alkaline land in Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces, the three major grain-producing areas in China, and 4 million hectares of such land in Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
"The breeding program is expected to provide valuable experience for overall rice farming in these regions," he said.
As the climate shifts and a growing population strains arable land, Chinese agricultural scientists have been striving to tap into unused land resources and develop innovative ways to produce food.
Research into rice strains that can grow in saline-alkaline soil began in the late 1980s in China. As of recently, the center in Shandong province has established eight trial planting bases across different types of salty land in five provincial-level regions across China, covering a total of 1,333 hectares of salty land

New study opens the door to flood resistant crops


Date:September 19, 2019
Source:University of California - Riverside
Summary:Of the major food crops, only rice is currently able to survive flooding. Thanks to new research, that could soon change -- good news for a world in which rains are increasing in both frequency and intensity.
Share:
    
FULL STORY

Of the major food crops, only rice is currently able to survive flooding. Thanks to new research, that could soon change -- good news for a world in which rains are increasing in both frequency and intensity.
The research, newly published in Science, studied how other crops compare to rice when submerged in water. It found that the plants -- a wild-growing tomato, a tomato used for farming and a plant similar to alfalfa -- all share at least 68 families of genes in common that are activated in response to flooding.
Rice was domesticated from wild species that grew in tropical regions, where it adapted to endure monsoons and waterlogging. Some of the genes involved in that adaptation exist in the other plants but have not evolved to switch on when the roots are being flooded.
"We hope to take advantage of what we learned about rice in order to help activate the genes in other plants that could help them survive waterlogging," said study lead Julia Bailey-Serres, a UC Riverside professor of genetics.
In the study, the team examined cells that reside at the tips of roots of the plant, as roots are the first responders to a flood. Root tips and shoot buds are also where a plant's prime growing potential resides. These regions contain cells that can help a plant become more resilient to flooding.
Drilling down even further, the team looked at the genes in these root tip cells, to understand whether and how their genes were activated when covered with water and deprived of oxygen.
"We looked at the way that DNA instructs a cell to create particular stress response in a level of unprecedented detail," said one of the lead researchers, UC Riverside's Mauricio Reynoso.
"This is the first time that a flooding response has been looked at in a way that was this comprehensive, across evolutionarily different species," added study co-author Siobhan Brady, an associate professor of plant biology at UC Davis.
The genes involved in flooding adaptations are called submergence up-regulated families (SURFs). "Since evolution separated the ancestors of rice and these other species as many as 180 million years ago, we did not expect to find 68 SURFs in common," said co-author Neelima Sinha, professor of plant biology at UC Davis.
The study was an international collaboration funded by the National Science Foundation's Plant Genome Research Program. Researchers from UC Davis, as well as Emory, Argentina's National University of La Plata and Netherland's Utrecht University participated.
While UC Riverside researchers conducted flooding experiments and analysis of rice plant genomes, scientists at Davis did the same with the tomato species while the alfalfa-type plant work was done at Emory.
Though the SURFs were activated in all the plants during the flooding experiments, their genetic responses weren't as effective as in rice. The wild tomato species that grows in desert soil withered and died when flooded.
Climate change also produces periods of excessive drought, and separate efforts are under way to examine crop resilience to those conditions as well. However, Bailey-Serres said flooding responses are understudied compared to drought, making this work all the more important.
The group is now planning additional studies to improve the survival rates of the plants that currently die and rot from excess water.
This year is not the first in which excessive rains have kept farmers from being able to plant crops like corn, soybeans and alfalfa. Floods have also damaged the quality of the crops they were able to grow. As the climate continues to change, this trend is likely to continue. Without efforts to ensure our crops adapt, the security of the world's food supply is at risk.
"Imagine a world where kids do not have enough calories to develop," said Bailey-Serres. "We as scientists have an urgency to help plants withstand floods, to ensure food security for the future."
Story Source:
Materials provided by University of California - RiversideNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
1.     Mauricio A. Reynoso, Kaisa Kajala, Marko Bajic, Donnelly A. West, Germain Pauluzzi, Andrew I. Yao, Kathryn Hatch, Kristina Zumstein, Margaret Woodhouse, Joel Rodriguez-Medina, Neelima Sinha, Siobhan M. Brady, Roger B. Deal, Julia Bailey-Serres. Evolutionary flexibility in flooding response circuitry in angiospermsScience, 2019; 365 (6459): 1291 DOI: 10.1126/science.aax8862

Cite This Page:
University of California - Riverside. "New study opens the door to flood resistant crops." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190919142253.htm>.

Posted at: Sep 20, 2019, 7:58 AM; last updated: Sep 20, 2019, 8:00 PM (IST)

Scientists identify 340 genes to develop salt-tolerant paddy

If all works out as per plan, the CSSRI will develop the first salt-tolerant paddy through the direct gene transfer method
Parveen Arora
Tribune News Service
Karnal, September 19
The Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI) has identified 340 genes from halophytes plants (salt-tolerant grass found in the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat) to develop salt-tolerant varieties of paddy.
Now, CSSRI scientists have started the process to transfer the suitable gene into high-yielding paddy varieties for developing salt-tolerant varieties with the help of National Rice Research Institute (NRRI), Cuttack, Odisha, and Indian Agricultural Statistical Research Institute, New Delhi.
Earlier, the CSSRI had development 10 salt-tolerant varieties of paddy, five each of wheat and mustard, and one of gram, but all were developed with the conventional breeding method.
A salt-tolerant land race variety, Pokkali, is already available, but has tolerance at seedling establishment stage and can be grown in only coastal areas. This variety is also used as one of the parents for developing new salt-tolerant variety through the conventional method.
“If all works out as per plan, CSSRI scientists will be able to develop the first salt-tolerant paddy variety through the direct gene transfer method,” said Dr PC Sharma, Director, CSSRI.
The gene transfer method will help in reducing the time taken for the development of salt-tolerant variety from seven to eight years in the conventional breeding method to three years in molecular approaches (gene transfer), he added.
The Director said the salt-affected soil was a big challenge which reduced crop productivity. The institute has already reclaimed around 3.5 lakh hectares of salt-affected soil in the state so far, while around 3.1 lakh hectares is yet to be reclaimed, for which the CSSRI has been working.
Dr Anita Mann, senior scientist and project in charge, said: “Keeping in mind the problem of salinity, we have started work by adopting the biotechnological method, which is more effective and time saving, on ‘potential gene mining from salt tolerant grasses for improvement of salt tolerance in crops’ project funded by National Agricultural Science Fund in 2017.”
“Based on the achievements of the project, we organised a three-day training programme recently in which participants from several institutes were made aware of the project’s achievements,” she added.

Crop Progress Report: Missouri
By Rance Daniels  
HORNERSVILLE, MO -- It has been an interesting rice growing season so far. It all started with an extremely wet fall and harvest, which in turn put us behind this spring with little to no field prep done for planting. When spring did come, it seemed the wet weather cycle was stuck on repeat. We would get a couple of days to get field prep work done and as much planted as we could, and then it would rain. All throughout spring, we worked hard for 2 to 3 days and then got a week or so out of the field because of wet weather. We finally finished planting the crop the first week of June, so the rice spread out from the first of April to the first of June planting dates. The abundance of rain continued all the way up until about 10 days ago.
According to Missouri rice farmer Zach Worrell, this season's rain hindered both spraying and fertilizing in a timely manner. "It was an expensive crop overall, grassy in some fields due to lack of field prep because of last fall's wet harvest. The lack of grass control increased populations of rice stinkbugs. Some fields were sprayed twice, which is unusual in Missouri. Harvest has found early April plantings yields to be lower than mid-April and later planting dates."On the bright side, all this rain led to lower water pumping cost on our rice acres.Harvest is in full swing now that most everyone has started. The yields at this point are just average to a little below, and acreage is down roughly between 20 and 30 percent from last year. The weather so far has been great, and the 10-day outlook is good. We'd like to see it stay dry until at least Thanksgiving. This week we have rolled up poly pipe off our earliest planted row rice fields and have laid poly pipe on some bean fields that are just now needing to be irrigated.
Despite all the rain earlier this year, hopefully we will all be able to remember the 2019 harvest season for perfect weather and smooth and efficient rice production from the field.

Market Informatio

Cook-off highlights SW La. rice industry

Area students compete for bragging rights

·        
·       Sep 19, 2019

Annual Rice Cook-Off

Cal Cam Rice Growers Association and the Port of Lake Charles hosted their annual NRM-Rice Cook Contest on Wednesday to showcase area students and their rice cooking talents at the Port of Lake Charles in Lake Charles, La., Wednesday, Sept.18, 2019. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)
The Cal-Cam Rice Growers Association and the Port of Lake Charles held their 22nd annual National Rice Month Rice Cook-Off Contest for area students from Calcasieu, Cameron and South Beauregard parishes. More than 20 students advanced to the final competition held at the port office, aiming to win bragging rights, prizes and cash.
The event is designed to promote the area's rice industry, which is comprised of nearly 30 farmers and mills, said Adam Habetz, Cal-Cam Rice Growers Association.
"September is National Rice Month. As rice producers, in conjunction with the month, we hold the cook-off for the area kids to promote rice, get them to cook more of it and have it around the house more," he said.
The Port of Lake Charles is a major contributing factor to the region's successful rice industry, Kane Webb, USA Rice Federation field services director, said. Rice from local mills like Supreme Rice and Farmers Rice as well as mills from Southeast Texas are shipped worldwide from the port.
In fact, a large supply was being loaded for Iraq during Wednesday's competition, Webb said.
"It's a huge aspect for the economy overall and the agricultural economy especially in Southwest Louisiana," he said.
In addition to jobs generated at farms, mills and the port, last year Louisiana's rice industry "contributed a gross farm value right at $280 million for the state," Webb said.
Sara Ellis, Bell City High School teacher, said her students participate annually in the competition. She said she views the event as a hands-on approach to teaching the impact of agriculture on a rural economy.
"Those kids pass every day rice fields on their way to school... This is how the majority of people around here are making their living. I just try to relate it back to them in that way to help them see the importance," she said.
All participants in the competition received a rice cooker from Farmers Rice Mill, a bag of recipes and cooking utensils and first- through third-place winners received a cash prize: Danon Jackson, Moss Bluff Middle School, first place, seafood risotto; Zachariah Bleichroth, Vinton High School, second place, green rice casserole; and Paige Laughlin, Starks High School, third place, cozy cocoa rice pudding; Makala Snyder, Johnson Bayou High School, "Heart Healthy," bayou stuffed bell peppers.


S. Korea remains cautious over whether to maintain developing-nation status


All Headlines 09:36 September 20, 2019

SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea remains cautious over whether to stick to its special and differential treatment under the World Trade Organization as the United States pushes to reform the global trade body.
South Korea has been keeping developing country status since 1995 mainly to protect its sensitive agriculture industry, especially rice.
Hong Nam-ki, the minister of economy and finance, said South Korea needs to "fundamentally" review whether it can maintain the status in the future, saying other developing countries are taking issue with South Korea's status.
"A very cautious approach is needed" Hong said in a meeting with officials at a government in central Seoul. He said South Korea will take into account national interest, its economic status and economic impact when it decides whether to keep the status.
Hong Nam-ki (R), the minister of economy and finance, speaks in a meeting with officials at a government in central Seoul on Sept. 20, 2019. (Yonhap)


1 of 2
Description: Hong Nam-ki (R), the minister of economy and finance, speaks in a meeting with officials at a government in central Seoul on Sept. 20, 2019. (Yonhap)
Description: S. Korea remains cautious over whether to maintain developing-nation status - 2
The comments came as U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to overhaul the rules of the Geneva-based trade body to make sure that self-declared developing countries do not take advantage of the benefits that come with the status.
The U.S. has proposed that the WTO strip countries of developing country status if they meet certain criteria -- being members of Group of 20 advanced economies; being members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); being high-income countries as classified by the World Bank and taking up at least 0.5 percent of total global trade.
South Korea meets all four of the criteria, which could undermine its efforts to maintain its status
In July, Trump named South Korea, Mexico and Turkey as countries claiming developing-country status even though they are members of both the G-20 and the OECD, a group of 36 mostly rich nations.
Trump also said if no substantial progress is made in overhauling the WTO rules by mid-October, the U.S. will no longer treat as a developing country any WTO member Washington says is not one.
The issue of the developing country privileges is also about future multilateral negotiations, meaning that South Korea's agricultural subsidies and its agricultural tariffs won't be affected even if Seoul decides to forgo the status.
Currently, South Korea imposes a 513-percent tariff on imported rice for quantities outside the quota of 409,000 tons of annual rice imports from the U.S. and four other countries under the system of tariff-rate quotas meant to provide minimum market access.
Hong said South Korea is in the final stages of negotiations with the U.S., China, Australia, Thailand and Vietnam over rice tariff, though he did not provide any further details.
Government data showed 54 percent of the 1 million South Korean farming households grow rice, a staple food for Koreans.
South Korea paid 8.2 trillion won (US$6.87 billion) in agricultural subsidies to farmers out of the 11.49 trillion won available in 2015, the latest year for which statistics are available.
South Korea's total agricultural subsidies largely depend on the value of agricultural output in a given year and the ceiling hovers around 11.49 trillion won.
entropy@yna.co.kr
(END)
https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20190920001800320


House probes rice cartels, smuggling
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - September 20, 2019 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives will look into reports of rampant rice smuggling and the existence of cartels that control the procurement, importation and sale of the basic staple.
House Resolution No. 332, filed by party-list group Magsasaka, prompted the investigation.
Other groups belonging to the leftist Makabayan bloc proposed the passage of a supplemental budget of P15 billion to help farmers affected by low palay prices.
The proposal, contained in a resolution, followed the filing of a similar measure by House members belonging to the Liberal Party for the allocation of available funds amounting to P13 billion for farmers.
Assistant minority leader Magsasaka Rep. Argel Joseph Cabatbat told the weekly Party-list Coalition forum yesterday that despite the unregulated importation of rice under a new law, cartels continue to smuggle the staple.
“Rice smuggling and cartels do not only deny the government of revenue but also put poor Filipino families on the edge of hunger and poverty,” Cabatbat said.
He said the law liberalizing rice importation provided that imports are levied a 35-percent tariff, but this has not benefited consumers and farmers.
“Rice prices remain high, while palay prices have fallen to record lows,” he said.
Cabatbat said the House would begin its inquiry after passing the proposed P4.1-trillion national budget for 2020.
“Imported rice entering the country through legal and illegal means continue to flood the local market, depriving the government of billions in taxes and killing our rice farmers as well,” he said.
He said cartels and traders control the sale of imported rice in the market to keep prices high, while offering low prices for the farmers’ palay produce.

P15-billion supplemental budget for NFA

Under the Makabayan resolution, the P15 billion would be given to the National Food Authority (NFA) to enable the agency to buy palay at P20 a kilo and sell the same as rice at P27 to prop up the price of palay and force down retail prices of rice.
The Liberal Party version would authorize the government to use P13 billion for cash grants to farmers. 
The supplemental fund for the NFA being pushed by lawmakers will help the agency procure at least 750,000 metric tons of palay from local farmers, NFA administrator Judy Dansal said.
“It will favor the NFA if that will be granted,” Dansal said. “We can buy more volume of palay and serve more farmers.”
Local farmgate prices of palay have been dropping since the implementation of the Rice Tariffication law in March.
Based on figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the average price of palay fell 4.4 percent to P16.68 per kilo as of end-August.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar echoed Dansal’s sentiments, saying the additional P15-billion budget would help with the procurement of palay from local farmers.
“This will help the NFA buy more palay,” he said.

Palay price up

Farmers said the Department of Agriculture (DA) should ensure that palay prices would not go down further when it releases large volume of rice in the market.
Dar announced that the DA would bring down rice prices to P27 per kilo by flooding the market with 3.6 million bags of rice and increase palay price to P19 from P17 per kilo for clean and dry. 
The NFA set Oct. 10 as a deadline to dispose of the 3.6 million sacks of rice in its warehouses.
“It took the DA almost a month before deciding to release the rice that is equivalent to 10 days of stock. Since farmers will harvest early this September-October, the DA might use it as an excuse not to buy palay from farmers,” Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas chairman Danilo Ramos said.
With the higher buying price for palay, the NFA removed the add-on incentive payments to farmers.
Chona Maramba, NFA Western Pangasinan assistant manager, said the agency would buy dry and clean palay at a higher price of P19 per kilo, but the cash incentive would be dropped.
She said the production cost of palay is around P12 per kilo and with the new buying price, farmers will earn P7 compared to P5.
The old incentive scheme includes payment of P3 per kilo as buffer stock fee, P0.20 for drying, P0.20 for delivery and additional P0.30 as cooperative development fee for qualified recipients.

Cash grants

Deputy Speakers Mikee Romero of 1-Pacman and Mujiv Hataman of Basilan proposed that rice farmers be included in the government’s cash transfer program.
Romero said the cash assistance would allow farmers suffering from low palay prices to recoup part of their losses.
He said billions in revenues from rice imports could be used to beef up funding for the program.  
Last week, the NFA Council agreed to fix the buying price for clean and dry palay with 14 percent moisture content at P19 per kilo and wet palay with 30 percent moisture content at P14 per kilo.
It is one of two measures approved by the council to cut down the retail prices of rice and sustain its local palay-buying operations.
The NFA Council also resolved to flood Metro Manila and other markets nationwide with 3.6 million 50-kilogram bags of rice, making up NFA’s old imported stocks valued at P4.86 billion. Proceeds from the sale of old stocks can be used to procure palay from farmers.  –  With Catherine Talavera, Rhodina Villanueva, Eva Visperas

UPDATE 1-Thai August exports slump as strong baht adds to trade war woes

SEPTEMBER 20, 2019Orathai Sriring, Satawasin Staporncharnchai
3 MIN READ

* Aug exports fall 4% y/y, even with gold boost

* Rice exports plunge 45% y/y, deepest fall since mid-2012

* Strong baht hurt farm shipments - official

* Baht is Asia’s top performing currency this year (Adds detail, comments)

By Orathai Sriring and Satawasin Staporncharnchai

BANGKOK, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Thailand’s exports plunged in August, as the strength of the baht hit its key commodity shipments, adding to the woes caused by escalating global trade tensions.

Exports, a key driver of Thai growth, fell 4% in August from a year earlier, worse than a forecast 2% fall, despite a 378% surge in gold exports. Excluding volatile gold, exports would have slumped 9.8%.

In July, annual exports unexpectedly rose 4.28%, distorted by unusually high gold shipments.

Officials and exporters blamed the fall on the baht, Asia’s best performing currency this year, which hit its highest levels in over six years against the dollar.

“The baht makes our products more expensive than others’,” commerce ministry official Pimchanok Vonkorporn told reporters. Rice exports were a particular concern, he said.

Thailand, the world’s second biggest rice exporter, saw rice exports slumping 45% in August from a year earlier, the biggest contraction since mid-2012. Shipments of tapioca slipped 25% and rubber dropped 7.2% last month.

The strong baht has been a major challenge for Thailand’s export-reliant economy, which grew just 2.3%, the weakest annual pace in nearly five years, in the second quarter.

The government has repeatedly expressed its concern about the baht’s strength.

The currency has appreciated 6.8% against the dollar this year, sustained by Thailand’s hefty current account surplus, which the state planning agency predicts at 5.9% of gross domestic product this year.

In trade weighted terms, Thailand’s nominal effective exchange rate was the highest since 1997.

“The baht is quite a big worry for us,” said Supant Mongkolsuthree, head of the Federation of Thai Industries.

The government has urged firms to exploit the strong baht by importing machines and capital goods for investment.

But imports in August fell 14.6% from a year earlier, with electrical machines down 17.6% and raw materials down 28%. Thailand had a trade surplus of $2.05 billion last month.

In August, annual exports of cars and car parts fell 12.6%, while electronics dropped 10.5%, also hit by the trade tensions.

Exports to China, Thailand’s biggest market, fell 2.7% in August year-on-year, while those to the United States rose 5.8%.

Pimchanok said it would be difficult to achieve the ministry’s export growth target of 3%.

In the January-August period, exports dropped 2.19% from a year earlier while imports declined 3.61%. ($1 = 30.46 baht)

Additional reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon Editing by

Pangasinan farmers get P5-M worth of machinery, equipment
By Hilda Austria  September 21, 2019, 2:32 pm


Description: https://files.pna.gov.ph/category-list/2019/09/21/received2967238953290757.jpegEQUIPMENT FOR FARMERS. Farmer-beneficiaries inspect the tractor they received from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) 1 (Ilocos region) in Sta. Maria, Pangasinan on Friday (Sept. 20, 2019). A total of 2,535 farmers in Pangasinan will benefit from the PHP5 million worth of machinery and equipment from DAR-1. (Photo courtesy of Enzo Austria Jr.)
STA. MARIA, Pangasinan -- About 2,535 farmers in Pangasinan received PHP5.076 million worth of farm machinery and equipment from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) 1 (Ilocos region) on Friday.
Director of DAR-1, engineer Leandro Caymo, said in an interview Friday that the recipients were agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and non-ARBs from the six districts of the province.
Distributed to the farmers were five cultivator/tiller worth more than PHP1.3 million; 14 irrigation water pumps worth more than PHP1.2 million; one 4WD tractor worth more than PHP1.2 million; and five rice transplanters worth more than PHP1.1 million, Caymo said.
The distribution, he said, was made under the climate-resilient farm productivity support program and agrarian reform community connectivity and economic support services project.
“The farmers are given the machinery and equipment for them to adopt or be resilient to the effects of climate change, such as the El NiƱo phenomenon among others, as we also wanted to lower the cost of their production by farm mechanization equipment,” Caymo said.
The DAR, he said, is almost done in the distribution of lands among farmer-beneficiaries, hence it is now focusing on services and assistance to the ARBs.
“We only have 900 hectares left in Region 1 for distribution. Right now, we are into assisting our ARBs with legal needs and also with services to further enhance their production,” Caymo said.
In his speech before the farmers, he asked them to take care and make use of the machinery and equipment they have received from DAR.
Isidro Soriano, 71, a farmer, thanked the DAR for the grant.
“We are grateful because this will be a big help to us. It is really hard to find farm workers nowadays and it is also costly,” Soriano said. (PNA)

As per Haryana’s policy for 2018, by the end of September millers had to return entire 67% of the custom milled rice (CMR) from the paddy procured

By Parshant Krar, ET Bureau|
Sep 20, 2019, 06.23 PM IST
BCCL
Description: 1Millers have also been seeking a downward revision in the CRM they have to deliver and higher milling charges.
CHANDIGARH: Haryana’s paddy custom milling policy for 2019 is set to give millers a month more to return part of the dehusked rice to government agencies, according to an official, accommodating one of several demands of millers who are finding it tough to stick to timelines.

Paddy dehusked at the mills is packed and transported to collection centres or railway stations, from where they are moved to government agencies. As per Haryana’s policy for 2018, by the end of September millers had to return entire 67% of the custom milled rice (CMR) from the paddy procured. Of this, 40% had to come in by March 31.

An official of Haryana Food and Supplies department, who did not wish to be named, said these mills are likely to get a month more to return up to 40% of CMR.

For some time now, mill owners have been complaining that they find it difficult to meet the delivery timelines due to the higher moisture levels in paddy and the hectic process of paddy procurement.

“Mills are far stretched for timely delivery as paddy procurement process is cumbersome in the months of October and November. Moreover, millers need time for drying the high moisture levels,” the official said, adding that Haryana’s mills had delivered almost the entire CMR for the previous season.

Every state has a paddy custom milling policy which it reviews annually. While Punjab has announced its policy, Haryana is set to do so before October 1, the start of the current paddy procurement season. The two states are home to the largest rice mills in the country.

Millers have also been seeking a downward revision in the CRM they have to deliver and higher milling charges.

“The mills are forced to procure paddy with high moisture levels due to pressure from government and rising competition among millers. It leads to rise in breakage and millers had been incurring loss of margin in the recent years,” said a miller based in Kaithal.

Most rice mills are in the country are in trouble due to the high cost of milling. Most of their earnings come from rice bran, husk and broken rice, produced during the processing. But now millers are anxious that the income from husk could dwindle as the National Green Tribunal had targeted industrial boilers in the National Capital Region for using biomass.