USDA Rice Outlook: Domestic Plantings at 2.56 Million Acres
The March 2012 Prospective Plantings report indicated total U.S. rice plantings in 2012/13 of 2.56 million acres, down 5 percent from a year earlier and the smallest since 1987/88. The year-to-year decline is largely due to more favorable expected returns for alternative crops, especially soybeans and corn in the Delta, the largest rice-producing region in the country. Plantings were indicated lower this year in both California and the South.
By class, long-grain plantings were indicated at 1.86 million acres, a 4-percent increase from a year earlier. Almost all long-grain rice is grown in the South. Medium- and short-grain plantings were indicated at 697,000 acres, a decline of 22 percent from a year earlier. The South accounted for 80 percent of the indicated decline in U.S. medium- and short-grain plantings in 2012/13.
Growers in Arkansas indicated 2012/13 rice plantings of 1.16 million acres, a 3-percent decline from a year earlier and the smallest since 1989/90. Medium-grain accounted for all of the indicated area decline in Arkansas. California growers indicated 2012/13 plantings at 544,000 acres, down 7 percent from a year earlier. In Mississippi, growers indicated 2012/13 plantings of just 135,000 acres, nearly 16 percent below a year earlier and the smallest since 1977/78. Mississippi grows only long-grain rice.
In Texas, growers intend to plant 115,000 acres of rice in 2012/13, a decline of 37 percent from 2011/12 and smallest since 1902/03. The State has endured severe drought for several years and the State has imposed water restrictions in many counties. Almost all rice grown in Texas is long grain. In contrast, growers in Louisiana indicated they would expand rice plantings 8 percent to 455,000 acres in 2012/13, with long-grain accounting for all of the increase.
Growers in Missouri indicated rice plantings of 151,000 acres in 2012/13, up 8 percent from a year earlier, with long-grain accounting for all of the intended increase. Adverse weather sharply limited 2011/12 plantings in Missouri. Indicated U.S. plantings are based on a survey of growers that was conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in early March. Actual plantings may differ from reported intentions. The first survey of actual plantings of the 2012/13 crop will be conducted in early June and reported in the Acreage report released on June 29, 2012.