AgFax Rice Review: Rice Blast in Louisiana; Texas Farmers Face Water Shortage
- The Arkansas Farm Bureau reports that U.S. rice futures were slightly higher as the market deals with conflicting situations of strong exports and an increasing rice stockpile in Thailand.
- Bruce Schultz of the Louisiana State University AgCenter reports that blast disease in rice has already been found in 8 parishes in Louisiana, an earlier and more widespread appearance than normal.
- Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the Lower Colorado River Authority is set to cut off water to rice growers in Texas’ Matagorda, Colorado and Wharton counties for the 2nd consecutive year.
- Robert Grattan of the Austin Business Journal reports that the Central Texas Water Coalition is calling for the Lower Colorado River Authority to buy out the rice farmers south of Austin in order to end the debate on water control. The LCRA is currently investing in building additional dams to collect more water that currently flows into the Gulf of Mexico.
- Christine Herrera of the Manila Standard Today reports that following threats by rice farmers to skip planting in the coming season if something isn’t done about rampant rice smuggling, the “Philippine’s Social Welfare Secretary “agreed in principle” to enroll at least one million rice farmers as recipients of the P10-billion conditional cash transfer program in an effort to appease them.”
- According to Thailand The Nation the Thai government is facing problems supporting its rice subsidy program. Some officials have said the government’s pledging price will be lowered, though the government has not officially sanctioned such action and canceled a meeting with the National Rice Policy Committee today to discuss the issue.
- The Bangkok Post reports that many Thai farmers are protesting proposed cuts to the government’s rice subsidy program, and have threatened to stage a mass rally if the cuts go through.
- Paul Buttner writes at the Calrice.org blog that new conservation practices by rice farmers in the Sacramento Valley are having a positive impact on the region, with much more wetland area for waterbirds to enjoy which many were taking full advantage of.
EARLIER THIS WEEK
- Sameer Mohindru reports at The Wall Street Journal’s Southeast Asia blog that global rice prices are expected to drop due to rising stocks and shrinking import demand in the leading markets.
- According to GMA News Online the Philippines’ government has plans to increase rice exports to 300,000 metric tonnes by 2016 while continuing to reduce rice imports. The plan is to reduce to import deficit by exporting higher priced premium rice while cheaper quality rice imports continue to dwindle.
- AllAfrica.com reports that a shipment of rice sent from Singapore that recently arrived in Douala in Cameroon, Africa, was reported by officials to have mold fungus and other undeclared toxic elements, making it unsafe for human consumption. Safety officials in Douala were warned by collaborators in Singapore before the shipments arrival, but despite advance warning a warehouse company began unloading the toxic rice. The company is now facing complicity charges, and some are calling for the ship the rice arrived on to be impounded until proper legal action can be sought.
- Paul Brown of ClimateCentral.org reports that “the System of Rice Intensification, or SRI, is having such success that 50 countries are now adopting it.” This method of growing allows drier soil cultivation without the need of flooded paddy fields, and offers yield increased of 11% to 220% according to tests done in 11 different countries. This allows both greater sustainability, with less water and fertilizer usage, and greater results.
- Bruce Schultz of the Louisiana State University AgCenter reports that USDA officials from the Conservation program were taught the basics of growing rice at the LSU Rice Research Station. The session was intended to provide conservation personal an idea of how things are done to improve their understanding of the farming system.
- A Press Release from EurekAlert reports that a new method of puffing rice allows for a product with more protein, fiber, and other nutrients than conventional methods, making it ideal for breakfast cereals, snack foods, and nutrition bars.
- Petchanet Pratruangkrai reports for Thailand The Nation that the government is considering cutting back, but not eliminating, the national rice subsidy in an effort to lower prices so the country can begin selling some of its surplus rice and free up warehouse storage space.