Texas Rice Update

By: Dr. M.O. Way, Prof. of Entomology, Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center

I know some of you rice farmers also grow soybeans which can be an excellent choice for rotation with rice. I also know soybeans can be a risky crop for Southeast Texas farmers. Our unpredictable weather (sometimes heavy rains at planting and near harvest and drought conditions during podfill) frequently is not conducive to soybean production. But this year, at least east of Houston, weather has so far cooperated. That being said, one of my responsibilities as an entomologist in Southeast Texas is to provide management guidelines for insects attacking soybeans. This year, my project is evaluating novel insecticides for control of the array of insects damaging soybeans. I scout my plots for insects and then apply treatments when populations reach a certain threshold. I emphasize “scout” which is crucial to successful soybean production in Southeast Texas. Our warm, humid climate and long growing season are perfect for rapid build-up of pest populations. Case in point occurred this year in my soybean research plots. Soybeans were R4 (very susceptible stage to insect attack) when I began collecting by sweep net a few Lepidoptera larvae…mainly green cloverworm. At this time, defoliation was probably no more than 1-5%...no big deal. But within a matter of days, populations skyrocketed resulting in close to 20% defoliation which triggered application of the treatment insecticides. My research plots are in a 4-acre field of CZ6020X soybeans. The untreated research plots and the rest of the soybean field are completely defoliated now. Many years ago, I inspected a field of soybeans in Jefferson Co. The crop had good yield potential, but the farmer went on a short fishing trip in September when defoliator densities increased explosively resulting in “soybean sticks” with no foliage upon his return. The soybeans were at podfill when the attack occurred, so the farmer lost his entire crop…pods did not fill.

So, the take home message: scout your crop (rice, soybeans, sorghum etc.) frequently and thoroughly because insect populations can increase quickly in Southeast Texas. I know you farmers are up to your necks in daily farming operations. This is where a private crop consultant can take the guesswork and worry off your shoulders…

Here is the link to a bulletin Managing Soybean Insects in Texas https://extensionentomology.tamu.edu/files/2017/06/J35419-TAMU-Managing-Soybean-Insects-1.pdf

Untreated soybeans damaged by defoliator larvae (photo by Mo Way)

Washington DC Update

Rumors are rampant and expectations are imminent that CFAP 2.0 is on the way with more details to be announced soon. Last month Secretary Perdue announced that the rules for CFAP would be announced in September and rumors this week said it would be announced Wednesday or Friday. 

With the fiscal year ending September 30th and appropriation legislation left unfinished a CR is being developed that will ensure government funding through the election. The actual end date is subject to negotiation with a December end date and February end date being considered. Democrats are pushing for a February end date to delay spending decisions into a new Congress which may include a new administration. It is unlikely that Republicans in the Senate would agree to that timeframe so a December end date is expected. Of course, what is included in a CR is also being negotiated. USRPA supported efforts to reimburse the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) in order to provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with the resources necessary to continue programs integral to the farm safety net such as Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage, Dairy Margin Coverage, Marketing Assistance Loans, conservation programs, and many others. Without immediate CCC reimbursement, payments and programs would be significantly delayed.

Prospect for China's Rice Harvest are Positive Despite Flooding and COVID-19

Even though China’s severe flooding in the Yangtze region and the ensued structure damage to its Three Gorges Dam has made international news, official statistics released indicate that China continues to the have a bumper crop. Floods affected only 5% of fields which mostly contain Indica rice and only 1% of fields were destroyed. However, China had expanded the planted area by 6.8%, more than offsetting the field damage. 

Meanwhile, in the northwest region, responsible for 70% of China’s grain output including rice, prospects are looking positive. Typically, harvest in this region begins anywhere from October to November. In September, USDA’s World Agricultural Production report's estimate for rice production of China remains unchanged from the previous month with 147 million metric tons.  Milled rice imports for China are estimated at 2.55 MMT, while milled rice exports are estimated at 2.75 MMT.

Volume 17, Issue 36

September 10, 2020

In This Issue:

Volume 17, Issue 37

September 17, 2020

In This Issue:

Volume 17, Issue 35

September 3, 2020

In This Issue:

Stumbling Blocks for USMCA Implementation

Barely a month into implementation, USMCA is already fraught with major stumbling blocks as Canada and Mexico warn recent U.S. trade actions will have serious implications on the deal’s success. Main issues include the re-imposition of tariffs on Canadian aluminum and the new plan to address the complaints of southeastern season growers of fresh produce against Mexican produce imports.

Earlier this month, President Trump announced plans to impose a 10-percent additional tariff on aluminum imports from Canada, citing national security concerns due to a surge of Canadian aluminum in the market. Canada met the decision with an announcement of its own retaliatory tariffs on U.S. aluminum products. As for the multiagency plan addressing the impact of seasonal produce imports from Mexico, USTR will investigate imports of blueberries and seek discussions with Mexico addressing other concerns about imports of Mexican strawberries, bell peppers, and other perishable products.

The aluminum tariffs and seasonality plan are only two examples of issues that are impeding smooth implementation of the North American trade pact. USMCA made sweeping changes to the rules of origin for autos and auto parts as well as sweeping labor standards reform and dispute settlement proceedings. USRPA will be monitoring developments in North American trade relations on behalf of the U.S. rice farmer.

US Rice Master Class in Mexico Attracts New Followers

This week ended the first segment of the Master Class of American long-grain rice produced in Mexico by the US Rice Producers Association. During the first segment, Chef Melissa Morelos, MasterChef Mexico contestant, and finalist, presented various recipes from Latin America with American long-grain rice as the main ingredient. The Master Class was broadcast simultaneously on Zoom and via Facebook live on the Consume Arroz USA fan page.

The second segment starts September 7th and features chef Joaquín Quezada, Chief Instructor at the Valle de México University and Director of the International Hospitality, Cuisine, and Tourism Management Center for Studies. Chef Joaquín Quezada will be preparing his take on traditional Mexican recipes with American long-grain rice as the main ingredient.
Currently, the fan page has a total of 16,369 followers of which 989 are new followers who have joined in the last month.