First Rough Rice Export of 2020 Heading to Honduras

With the 2020 rice harvest in full swing, Southwest Louisiana farmers wasted no time in loading the first vessel of rough rice in the Port of Lake Charles for shipment to Honduras.  Efforts of the South Louisiana Rail Facility (SLRF) and their farmer members have resulted in the development of strong relations with numerous buyers in the most important markets for U.S. rice in Central America and Mexico.  The sale is a result of coordinating market development activities with the U.S. Rice Producers Association. 

Scheduled to depart Lake Charles this weekend, the “UBC Sydney” will be loaded with 22,000 tons of paddy rice out of SW Louisiana and Southeast Texas.  More than 40 farmers sold rice for this shipment. 

“These shipments support prices for farmers all along the gulf coast, giving farmers an important alternative,” according to Dwight Roberts, President & CEO for the USRPA, adding “the recent announcement by the SLRF to build a new rice mill in partnership with Agreeta Farmer Network further enhances the ability of rice farmers to market their crop.” 

Volume 17, Issue 31

August 6, 2020

In This Issue:

Washington DC Update

This week on August 4th, USRPA joined with over 180 organizations in sending a letter to leadership of the House and Senate.  The letter expressed support for including a technical correction addressing the tax treatment of loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in the next round of relief in response to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

When the PPP was adopted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, Congress made clear that any loan forgiveness under the program would be excluded from the borrower’s taxable income.   Unfortunately, the IRS in publication of IRS Notice 2020-32 effectively overturned this policy by denying borrowers the ability to deduct the same expenses that qualified them for the loan forgiveness.   The letter is attached below.

As Schumer, Pelosi, Mnuchin, and Meadows are scheduled to meet later today the outlook on reaching agreement on another round of relief in response to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic is mired in pessimism at the moment.  The White House and House and Senate Democratic leadership are discussing a myriad of issues from state/local tribal relief, childcare, schools, UI, election assistance, broadband, to name just a few.  McConnell, meanwhile, is monitoring the talks without attending.  Many Senate Republicans are refusing to support any additional spending because $1 trillion still remains from the CARES Act.

There is a world of differences between the Senate proposal (HEALS Act) and the House passed bill (HEROES Act) without even taking into consideration Administration preferences.  Normally one would expect an agreement on a top line number, in this instance between the $1 trillion provided in HEALS and the $3+ trillion in the HEROES Act.  The spending priorities would then be adjusted as needed.  To further complicate the situation, the Administration has announced that it will issue executive orders addressing the pandemic.  One would expect that these will also impact the negotiations.

The Senate was scheduled to go out this week, but today McConnell said that the Senate will be in session next week.  Of course, it is the darkest before the dawn and tomorrow may bring a breakthrough.  In any event whether they extend or not, any agreement will take time to prepare and time for consideration which can all be provided if a deal is reached.

Nutrien Variety DG-263L Set for 2021 Release

Nutrien Ag Solutions is seeing very promising results in the field testing of a new rice variety to be released as DG-263L. This will be the first of several long grain variety under the company’s Dyna-Gro seed brand. DG-263L is a high yielding long grain line with excellent grain quality and should create strong interest with US mills, exporters and foreign buyers. “Our breeding strategy and collaborations is really gaining traction now. “DG-263L is the first of several high yielding lines we intend to release in the near future, said Randy Ouzts, US Rice Manager.”

This season Nutrien worked with Tanner Seed Company in Missouri to increase seed for the 2021 launch, utilizing ULSR (ultra low seeding rates) for production. “DG-263L has very good vigor at emergence and tillering that allowed for seeding rates of 10-12 lbs on the farm, said seed grower Zach Tanner. Yield potential looks very promising and we hope to start harvest by September 1, 2020.”

Nutrien will market DG-263L through its retail divisions across the Southern rice belt, so growers are encouraged to inquire now about seed availability

Yangtze River in Asia Sees Historical Floods

Yangtze River, the largest river in Asia is dealing with the worst floods in has seen in decades. As monsoon season in progress, the Yangtze river basin, which is particularly prone to flood and is home to abundance of fertile farmland in China, has been largely affected, and with more torrential rain coming to this area in the following weeks it will make the situation even worse. 

Residents in the region are familiar and prepared for flooding every year they haven’t seen flooding this intense and so frequently in two decades. Due to persistent high waters in tributaries along the river, several smaller dams have been destroyed and have released water into drainage levees where farmlands are located. 

Anhui province, visited by USRPA in 2019, is one of the areas that has been hit with severe flooding. The rice research station in Lujiang, located downstream of one tributary of Yangtze River, is under six and a half feet of flood water. The 2020 flood is reported to compare to 1998 flood, where over 4,000 lives were lost during the disaster. Thankfully, this year many homes were evacuated before the flooding came and countless lives were saved. Unfortunately, the economic and social losses remain huge in terms of damaged plants, inventories and properties. Industry reports in China indicate that the overall effect on rice production is not yet known but as additional floods develop and information is revealed, imports from nearby countries such as Pakistan and India will be needed to fill domestic supply demands and in this case it will have impact on regional rice trade.   

We are deeply concerned about USRPA’s friends in the region and glad to know all of them are safe. We wish the people in the region our best and for life to return to normal quickly.

USRPA's Rice Cooking Seminar is a Great Success in Guatemala

USRPA and ARROZGUA continue its success social media campaign. The interactive virtual cooking seminars, done in two stages, via Zoom has been shared on the Facebook fan page USA Arroz throughout June and July. The chefs demonstrated various rice recipes from around the world featuring U.S. grown rice, emphasizing its nutritional value and its ability to be easily incorporated into the everyday Guatemalan's diet.

U.S. Embassy Guatemala has been promoting the live cooking classes and inviting the audience to visit the USA Arroz Facebook fan page. The Facebook fan Page of USA Arroz increased 88% in the numbers of followers in the past two months and reaching audience all the way in Colombia, Peru, Mexico, USA, Argentina, Bolivia, and Ecuador. The social media campaign will continue until December.

USRPA Presents: Market Outlook for Central America & Mexico

August 20, 2020
from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm CST


Dwight Roberts, President & CEO
US Rice Producers Association

2020 U.S. Rice Harvest Yields, Grain Quality, Conditions
Thomas Wynn, PhD, Chairman
US Rice Producers Association

Rice Market Outlook for 2020-2021
Dennis DeLaughter, Board Member
US Rice Producers Association

(English with Spanish translation subtitles on the screen)


Dwight Roberts
President & CEO @ US Rice Producers Association

Dwight Roberts, President & CEO of the US Rice Producers Association, has spent the last 30 years working in agriculturally related international activities both in the private sector and as the director for international marketing at the Texas Department of Agriculture. He also spent 10 years living and working in the grain and cattle business in South America. Roberts received his bachelor’s degree from Abilene Christian University.

J. Thomas Wynn, PhD
Chairman @US Rice Producers Association

Dr. J. Thomas Wynn is a farmer, rancher, marketing analyst, and COO of M&W Farm & Ranch in Egypt, Texas. He is also a partner in Coastal Rice & Futures Inc. in East Bernard, Texas.  His specialty is risk management in agricultural commodity markets.  He also focuses on innovation diffusion and agricultural policy in both domestic and international settings.  In addition to consulting in the private sector, Wynn works with international industry trade associations and producer groups to promote sound agricultural practices and policies.

Dennis DeLaughter
Board Member, Texas @US Rice Producers Association

Dennis R. DeLaughter, a professional farm manager, investment advisor and commodity broker, operated and managed over 5000 acres of rice, corn and wheat along the Texas gulf coast, southwest of Houston for over 40 years.  He was a licensed floor trader on the Chicago Board of Trade and a frequent speaker at agri-business marketing meetings throughout the U.S. rice belt and the Midwest grain growing region. Specializing in commodity hedging and market analysis service for trading strategies, Mr. DeLaughter has served by appointment from the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee during both the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations.  He is vice president of the Texas Rice Council and the former chairman of the US Rice Producers Association.  A graduate of Texas A&M University, he holds an MBA from A&M with an undergraduate degree is Agricultural Economics.