• Water and Planted Acreage are on the forefront of growers minds. Northern California Water allocations could be cut to 50% of normal, which would force rice growers to fallow additional land and sell water to sustain permanent crops. Land in California is being prepped with the anticipation that there could be as much as 20% less acreage than the year previous, bringing total planted acreage below 350,000–nearly 40% below 2013 crop.
• A California mill recently bought Southern U.S. Jupiter rice to mill and market– a lower grade medium/short grain–to fill customer demand. Prices of low grade Calrose are cost prohibitive to some customers, forcing them to head to the South for their rice. This mill is trying to keep their customers happy, even when supply is tight and prices are high. This has caused heated controversy in the local market.
• In the Southern states acreage is expected to increase, in response to current high prices for Short/Medium grains. As California enters its 4th consecutive year of drought, Short/Medium grain Jupiter varieties may fill the CalRose supply gap.
North American AgriBusiness Review – Rabobank, April 2015