Rice Crop: Planting Progress Good in LA and TX, Slow Going in The Delta
Planting in Texas is making good progress. NASS had the state 79% seeded as of last weekend, compared to 90% average. With a larger percentage of the acreage now east of Houston, this is not surprising, although the odds of a successful second growth are diminished from this point forward.
Texas A&M reports as of today that planting is 85% done, with the east side at 80%. Statewide, emergence stands at 75%, which is very close to the 5-year average. After weeks of showers, some rain would be welcomed at this point. Wheat harvest has begun in the Valley.
Old crop stocks are reported to be about 500,000 cwts still in first hands. Some bidding and trading was reported this week at $8.50 to $9.30 premium per cwt fob farm. ARI has released a new crop bid at $7.00 over loan plus market increases through December, which did not generate a lot of excitement.
Cool and dry conditions have not been ideal for plant development, and several farmers report that fields planted with hybrid seed may need to be replanted.
South Louisiana growers report that the crop “looks good” and is finished planting. Old crop unsold stocks are approaching zero, and one of the large mills found it necessary to go into Texas to buy a substantial amount of long grain rough in the past few days.
If any old crop long grain is still left, it will bring $25.00 per bbl fob farm. New crop long grain continues to see interest at $23.50 per bbl delivered mill or barge facility or $23.00 per bbl fob farm – still no commitments from sellers that we can confirm.
New crop medium grain is still being booked at $25.00 per bbl fob farm. Northeast Louisiana has been troubled by rain and is behind on planting, as is most of the Delta.
The Delta – Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi
The Delta region missed most of the flooding and extreme weather that plagued the southeast this week, but planting has been seriously delayed.
As of the past weekend, NASS puts Mississippi at only 24% planted, compared to 56% average. Arkansas is a bit better at 47%/61%, while Missouri stands at 45%/55%. Were it not for air seeding, the numbers would be much lower.
The region needs to dry out and warm up to get seed in the ground. With corn above $5.00 per bushel and soybeans at $12.50 or more, rice is not at the top of anyone’s list of preferred crops. There is some strength in old crop long grain, which is seeing bids between $7.00 per bu and $7.30 per bu fob farm, depending on the farm’s location.
New crop is prorated to be bid at $13.77 cash ($6.20 per bushel), or 86.5 cents under the November futures. Old crop is said to be bid at $6.85 per bushel, but traded as high as $7.30 per bushel farm gate this week.
The snow pack in California is only 19% of normal this week, and the best guess in the market is for a 25%-30% reduction in planted acres. That is 125,000-150,000 less acres of Calrose, which is likely more than the increase in medium grain acres that have been or will be planted in the south.
The medium grain market promises to be very interesting this marketing year. The increase in medium grain acreage in Arkansas and Lousisiana comes, of course, at the expense of long grain acres.
Given that the industry needs to get through at least least the next 90 days before there is any new crop rice available, there might even be a bit of action in long grain values.
Some Grain Belt analysts question USDA’s latest 2016 farm income estimates as overly optimistic. They doubt growers were able to shed as much in input costs this season as USDA’s