Sunday, August 02, 2020

3rd August,2020 Daily Global Regional Local Rice E-Newsletter



Tweak FCI's procurement strategies to boost rice exports: Expert panel

Rice is among the biggest agriculture exports from India along with buffalo meat and cotton

Agriculture products | Food Corporation of India | MSP rice procurement

Sanjeeb Mukherjee  |  New Delhi Last Updated at August 1, 2020 19:35 IST

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FILE PHOTO: Workers spread rice grain on a field to dry them in the sun, in Nadia


For boosting India’s non-basmati rice exports, the government needs to ensure that a higher pool of surplus rice is available to exporters by suitably modifying Food Corporation of India’s (FCI) procurement strategies, a high-powered panel of experts on agriculture exports said.

The panel was constituted by the 15th Finance Commission (FFC) to suggest measurable performance incentives for States to encourage agriculture exports as well as to promote crops that can help in high import substitution.

It comprised of senior representatives from the industry, academicians and former bureaucrats.

The panel said FCI is the largest buyer of rice in the domestic market for Public Distribution System (PDS) – approx. 40 million tonnes annually.

And, with the Minimum Support Price (MSP) increasing year on year it is leading to smaller export surplus and uncompetitive pricing in the international market for Indian non-basmati rice.

A reason perhaps why, despite being the world’s second largest producer of rice, both production and exports have been stagnant over the years.

The panel seemed to suggest that excess FCI buying and increasing MSP’s are the major pain points for Indian rice exports which could be addressed through suitable government policies such as price deficiency payment method (Bhawantar Scheme).

Rice is among the biggest agriculture exports from India along with buffalo meat and cotton. It was India’s single largest commodity with $7.3 billion trade surplus followed by shrimp ($4.6 billion) and bovine meat ($3.6 billion), the panel said.

Rice production in India is estimated to be over 115 million metric tonnes (which includes 6-7 million tonnes of basmati rice).

The panel has identified the crop value chains along with 21 others out of a laundry list of over 340 agriculture and commodities products that needs to developed to enable India increase its agriculture exports from the current $40 billion to over $70 billion in the next few years.

This push will enable an estimated investment of around $8-10 billion in inputs, infrastructure, processing and other demand enablers which will in turn create an estimated 7-10 million additional jobs. Such a boost to exports will also lead to higher farm productivity and farmer incomes.

The other items identified by the panel for value chain development includes shrimp, buffalo meat, raw cotton, grapes, pulses, mangoes, banana, potatoes, honey etc.

The panel also advised creation of a state-led export plan with the private sector playing an anchor role and the Centre acting as an enabler.

It was of the view that the private sector players had a pivotal role to play in ensuring demand orientation and focus on value addition; ensuring project plans are feasible, robust, implementable and appropriately funded.

Iran runs out dollars, India's basmati rice exports may fall 20%

Islamic Republic ordered nearly 30 per cent of India's basmati rice exports in financial year 2019-20, buying 1.3 million tonnes

Basmati rice | Iran | India

Dilip Kumar Jha  |  Mumbai 

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Indian exporters said they have cut shipments to Iran because of delay in payments linked to the Islamic nation running out of dollars

India’s basmati rice exports to Iran may decline 20 per cent this financial year as the West Asian nation fails to make payment due to US economic sanctions, said a study.

Iran ordered nearly 30 per cent of India’s total basmati rice exports in financial year 2019-20, buying 1.3 million tonnes. The US economic sanctions have paralysed business in Iran, which is battling the crisis for a year now.

Indian exporters said they have cut shipments to Iran because of delay in payments linked to the Islamic nation running out of dollars.

“Iran, which imports around 1.3 million tonne annually, is expected to register 20 per cent lower volume from India as payment-related issues continue from last fiscal because of US sanctions,” said a Crisil study.

Data compiled by the Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (Apeda) showed India exported 4.45 million tonnes basmati rice (worth $4.33 billion) in financial year 2019-20 as compared to 4.41 million tonnes ($4.72 billion) the year before. India recorded 4.01 million tonnes (worth $4.17 billion) for the financial year 2017-18.

“Exports to Iran is currently on halt due to delay in payment receivables. Owing to economic sanctions, dolalr availability remained scarce. But, Iran market is set to open very soon,” said Gurnam Arora, Joint Managing Director of Kohinoor Foods Ltd, the producer and exporter of Kohinoor brand basmati rice.

Indian rice exporters are exploring opportunities in South East Asia and South America to compensate for exports to Iran. Demand from European Union, the Middle East, South East Asia and the South American countries has increased.

“There will be no impact of decline in export volume to Iran on India’s overall shipment of basmati rice as demand from other markets has increased,” Ashwini Arora, Director, L T Foods, the producer of Daawat brand basmati rice, had said in a recent interaction with Business Standard.

Demand for basmati remained strong in nationwide lockdowns to contain the coronavirus outbreak, prompting rice companies to accept orders by seeking higher advances or letters of credit. They plan to use the advance monies to cut working capital debt. The aromatic rice demand from the US, the UK and the Middle East (excluding Iran), which account for more than half of India’s annual basmati export, has increased because these countries are building food security buffers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Crisil report said the average export realisation at Rs 63 per kg this fiscal compared with Rs 69 per kg in the last fiscal. Realisation from the domestic market, accounting for 2 million tonne sales annually, is seen stable at Rs 52 per kg on strong retail demand.


Telangana to procure 3.62 lakh tonnes rice pending from millers

By AuthorTelanganaToday  |  Published: 1st Aug 2020  9:30 pm

Hyderabad: Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar instructed the officials to complete the procurement of about 3.62 lakh tonnes of Custom Milled Rice (CMR) or raw rice from millers. As against 31.61 lakh tonnes CMR to be collected from the the millers for Vaanakalam 2019-20 season, about 27.99 lakh tonnes rice has been already received.

The Minister also asked the authorities to procure 9.04 lakh tonnes of boiled rice pending from the millers as against 43.63 lakh tonnes for the Yasangi 2020-21 season. He emphasised the need to procure the pending rice varieties from the millers in the wake of the State governments’ requirements to meet the supplies to ration card holders. He pointed out that the State government was supplying double the quantity of ration rice to the beneficiaries in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a review meeting with the officials here on Saturday, Kamalakar directed the authorities concerned to ensure that there was no shortage of rice to be supplied to the fair price shops in the State every month. He asserted that the necessary quantity of rice should supplied in advance considering Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s decision to double the ration rice supplies to the ration card holders during the lockdown. He warned that any laxity will be considered severely. He also discussed on the Task Force activities and various other departmental activities to ensure transparency.


Rice leads off series of online research field days in Arkansas

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An Extension irrigation engineer demonstrates multiple inlet irrigation systems and management during a field day near Stuttgart in 2019. Special to The Commercial


Rice will lead off a series of online commodity-based field days designed to give Arkansans a first look at the latest University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture research and extension from the safety of their homes.

The rice field day will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, and will be followed at two-week intervals by corn Thursday, Sept. 3, soybeans on Thursday, Sept. 17 and cotton Thursday, Oct. 1, according to a news release.

Social distancing protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic led the Division of Agriculture to take its annual agricultural field days online, said Nathan Slaton, associate vice president for agriculture and assistant director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station.

“Field days are an important activity for the Division of Agriculture,” Slaton said. “They provide our farmers and other Arkansans an opportunity to hear directly from our scientists about research and extension programs that are important to them. Visitors also have an opportunity to ask questions and speak to us about the agricultural challenges they face and how we can assist them.

“In keeping with physical distancing precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are moving our field days online to maintain that face-to-face interaction without the risk of spreading the virus,” Slaton said.

The rice field day will cover new varieties, the latest research in hybrid varieties, soil fertility, weed management, and disease and pest control. The event will open at 6 p.m. with a welcome from Bob Scott, former director of the Rice Research and Extension Center and new Division of Agriculture senior associate vice president and director of the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

Roger Pohlner, chairman of the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board will give an update on the board’s activities.

Online presentations by Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station researchers and Extension Service specialists will include:

Weed Control in Rice — Jason Norsworthy, professor of weed science;

Hybrid Rice Breeding — Ehsan Shakiba, assistant professor of hybrid rice breeding;

Managing Potassium in Rice — Trent Roberts, associate professor and extension soil fertility specialist;

Foliar Fungicides / Fungicide Seed Treatments — Yeshi Wamishe, extension rice pathologist;

New Rice Varieties — Xueyan Sha, professor and rice breeder.

A live question-and-answer session following the presentations will give participants an opportunity to interact with scientists and learn more about how the research applies to their crops and operations.

The field days are free, but registration is required to connect. Register for the rice field day at

For more information about the online field days and to register for the later commodity events, visit the 2020 virtual field day website: A recording of the field day will be available on demand from the website after the live broadcast on Aug. 20.

To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow the agency on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch and Instagram at ArkAgResearch.

To learn about Extension Programs in Arkansas, contact a local Cooperative Extension Service agent, visit or follow the agency on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without discrimination.



Sat, 08/01/2020 - 1:32pm

BRUCE SCHULTZ sends e-mail)


Presentations for the virtual northeast Louisiana row rice field day were released July 27, providing farmers with the latest information from LSU AgCenter researchers. The complete event is available online at is external).
Melissa Cater, director of the AgCenter Northeast Region, credited AgCenter agents Keith Collins and Bruce Garner for their work on the virtual field day. The video presentations can be viewed at any time for future reference.
Mike Salassi, AgCenter vice president for plant and animal sciences, said the AgCenter is committed to rice research and extension work, and an emphasis is being placed on the practice of row rice that is being used more in northeast Louisiana.
In the videos, Garner and farmer Jason Waller, of Morehouse Parish, made a presentation from a 48-acre field on Waller’s farm where five conventional rice varieties and three rice hybrids are being tested.
The stand was ideal, and “the stand counts were just phenomenal,” Garner said.
The field was irrigated after four to five days of no pumping.
Waller, who’s been growing row rice for five years, said he has learned to irrigate a field by looking at the soil.
“If we look at it and it’s wet, we’ll wait a day,” Waller said. “But if we look at it and it’s starting to get that dryness to the top of it, we’ll cut the pumps on, water it for just a little bit, wet it up and then back off again.”
Water had to be released from the field after a heavy rain, he said.
Waller said rice plants sometimes turn yellow near the irrigation pipe, and he suspects that’s a sign of nitrogen loss from colder water that can be remedied with additional nitrogen applications.
An application of herbicides Command, Sharpen and glyphosate was made immediately after planting on May 23, Garner said. And Waller said Ricebeaux and Facet were applied later to get an overlap of residual herbicides.
AgCenter rice specialist Dustin Harrell talked about the increased use of the row rice practice in northeast Louisiana. Louisiana rice acreage grown with the row rice practice was only 2,500 acres just three years ago. That has jumped to an estimated 30,000 acres this year compared with the 75,000 total acres of rice in northeast Louisiana.
Fertilization of a row rice crop is different from conventionally flooded rice, and it’s likely that nitrogen losses could be higher with row rice, Harrell said.
It’s believed that a row rice crop requires an additional 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre. “We need more research to make sure that’s the case,” he said.
Harrell showed his various research projects at the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, and the AgCenter Northeast Research Station at St. Joseph studying fertilizer rates and timing. “We’re going to find out what the optimum rate of nitrogen is,” he said.
In addition, he is studying different fertilizer treatments aimed at preventing nitrogen losses in row rice.
AgCenter entomologist Sebe Brown said billbugs are found more often in row rice. Brown is conducting research to see what seed treatments will offer the best protection against the pest.
Brown said stink bugs are also becoming more of an issue in row rice.
Problem insects, including loopers, stink bugs and caterpillars, are showing up in soybeans. “Everything is earlier this year,” he said.
AgCenter plant pathologist Don Groth said the row rice practice that has become popular in north Louisiana is susceptible to blast disease due to rice is much more susceptible under upland conditions.
Blast is much worse than the common sheath blight disease that can reduce yield by 15% to 20%. “Under the worst case with blast, you might be left with 15 to 20 percent,” he said.
Blast is more of a problem with late-planted rice and high nitrogen rates. He said farmers should favor varieties with good blast resistance and avoid varieties with higher blast susceptibility.
Leaf blast occurs in young plants, but a fungicide application should only be made if rice plants are dying. Usually the rice will become resistant to leaf blast as it enters the reproductive stages. The next phase of blast is neck blast, and it can be treated with fungicides.
The most effective against blast are strobilurin fungicides, which include Quadris, Quilt, Amistar Top, Gem and Stratego. These fungicides should be applied at 50% to 70% heading to get good control.
The fungicide Stratego won’t be available next year, so farmers will have to mix fungicides Gem and Flint to get the effectiveness of Stratego, Groth said.
A very susceptible or susceptible variety with heavy leaf blast should be treated with a fungicide application at the boot stage followed by an application at heading.
Smut disease should be treated with an application at the boot stage because a heading application will not control smuts, Groth said.
AgCenter rice breeder Adam Famoso talked about his work to develop new varieties.
More seed of a new Provisia variety, PVL02, will be available in 2021. It offers increased yield over PVL01 by as much as 15%, he said.
Four lines are being considered for PVL03, and a decision on one of those candidates will be made this year.
Famoso also is working on new conventional lines. The line LA2140 is similar to the Cheniere variety with good grain quality and a yield increase of 5% to 10% over Cheniere.
Another line, LA2207, has good yield potential and grain quality along with a blast-resistance gene. “This line has maintained its yield very well compared to the other lines,” Famoso said.
Work continues on a medium-grain line, LA2227, with high-yield potential and good grain quality.
A new Clearfield offering, CLL17, will be available in 2021 from Horizon Ag, Famoso said.
AgCenter soybean specialist David Moseley spoke from a core block study in West Carroll Parish where 21 varieties are being grown, all in maturity group IV.
The soybean crop statewide appears to be progressing well. “It looks to be a really good year,” he said.
Two-thirds of the crop was rated good to excellent by mid-June. “Since then, the condition has improved every week,” Moseley said.
AgCenter plant pathologist Trey Price urged farmers to scout soybean fields weekly, and it’s possible that a fungicide application can be avoided. “If the weather cooperates, you can make the season without that input cost,” he said.
Price covered aerial blight, taproot decline, brown spot, target spot and frogeye leaf spot soybean diseases, along with Southern root knot nematode.
Fungicide research for row rice and flooded rice is being studied at the Macon Ridge Research Station near Winnsboro, and salt tolerance of different lines of rice is being studied along with breeding line evaluations. The Louisiana Rice Research Board is partially funding the work, Price said.
Scott Franklin, president of the Northeast Rice Growers Association, said the Louisiana Rice Promotion Board and Louisiana Rice Research Board keep the state’s rice industry afloat. “Without them, I’m afraid we’d be in very big trouble,” he said.
Franklin said farmers’ checkoff funds help pay for research for Clearfield and Provisia rice development and for furrow-irrigated rice.
The big jump in acreage of furrow-irrigated rice in north Louisiana was the result of a positive policy development, Franklin said.
Betsy Ward, president of USA Rice, is among presenters in the videos. She said Bobby Hanks, chief executive officer of the Supreme Rice Mill in Crowley, is the new USA Rice chairman.
Rice sales have increased during the ongoing pandemic. “We’re hoping to launch a new program to capitalize on that,” she said.
Kane Webb, USA Rice field representative in Louisiana, said the membership directory for the Louisiana Rice Growers Association has an online directory to replace the printed version. The directory is available to association members only at is external).
Steve Linscombe, director of The Rice Foundation, said the foundation funded four research projects that include one with Famoso, two in Texas and one in Arkansas.
The Rice Leadership Program will not select a new class this year. Linscombe explained that sessions for the current class are not being held because of the pandemic.