Volume 17, Issue 46

November 19, 2020

In This Issue:

Washington Update for Nov. 19, 2020

On Wednesday, November 18th, USDA officials reversed a portion of the rule that was released in August that would have required family members to start meeting management time requirements to qualify for commodity program payments. USDA noted the following:

“After publication of the rule, stakeholders notified FSA of concerns regarding potential non-intended, adverse effects to farming operations comprised solely of family members. In streamlining the definitions for consistency, these revised definitions were inadvertently made applicable to farming operations solely owned by family members. This was not the intent of this rule change, and as revised, the definitions were more restrictive than they needed to be in order to provide intended consistency in the rule. Those more restrictive definitions were not intended to apply to farm operations comprised or owned solely of family members. Therefore, this document restores § 400.601 and the previous the definitions of “active personal management” and “significant contribution” in § 1400.3 that were applicable prior to publication of the final rule on August 24, 2020. The more restrictive definitions described in § 1400.601 apply only to farming operations comprised of non-family members that are subject to a limit in the number of farm managers seeking to qualify for actively engaged in farming based on a contribution of active personal management alone.”

To examine the rule notice click here.

Of course, not all in agriculture agree with this common-sense rule correction. Policy Director Eric Deeble of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition issued the statement, “A 180-degree about-face on an already final rule reeks of an election campaign season payoff. The new rule will use taxpayer money to foster farm consolidation, putting family farmers and beginning farmers at a severe disadvantage. We trust that the incoming Biden Administration will revoke this parting gift and put the teeth back in the farm bill’s payment limit to ensure fairness and stop subsidizing economic concentration.” Click to read their entire statement.

ATO Monterey and USRPA Collaborate on Virtual Cooking Classes in Mexico

The first Facebook lives cooking class featuring American long-grain rice was broadcast on September 25th in a project led by the USRPA in collaboration with USDA through ATO Monterrey. Overall, eleven recipes were presented throughout the month of October.

Chef Valeria Ochoa taught viewers to prepare Yakimeshi, a traditional dish in Asian cuisine, easily adapted to use American long-grain rice. The live event was attended by 637 users with continuous interaction and questions with Chef Ochoa addressing as many as she could while reiterating the versatility and nutritional value of American long rice.

To this date, the recorded cooking class has more than 5,500 views on Facebook the CONSUME ARROZ USA profile with many followers proudly sharing photos of their own results.

USRPA Is Back to In-Store Promotions in Mexico

After a long hiatus of our in-store promotions in Mexico due to COVID-19, USRPA reactivated the campaign last month. For safety precautions, adjustments were made to our process and the booths.

Following the safety measures and adhering to social distancing guidelines, the promoters educate the shoppers on the benefits of incorporating American long-grain rice into their diets and sharing promotional items reinforcing its nutritional value.

The total sales of American long-grain rice during the in-store promotions from October 15 to 31 was 16,805 Kilos or roughly 37,048 pounds.
The promotional campaign will continue through December 2020.

First Sale of US Rice to China Sold Out in Weeks

The 20 tons of Calrose rice that arrived in China last month garnered positive feedback among consumers and importers.

The distributer, Sungiven Foods, sold the 5kg packages of U.S. rice under their private label, Sungiven US Calrose Rice, both online and in-stores. A social media page that was created to promote the rice includes a brief overview and history of the variety, including details about its growing environment.

Mr. Ray Zhang, Import Manager at Xiamen Mingsui Grains & Oils Trading Co. believes the majority of customers purchased the rice out of curiosity. He further commented, “We appreciate the support from the USRPA and their facilitating this business.”

The USRPA began working in China in the late 90s and then used the USDA-FAS’ Emerging Markets Program to launch the effort that established a phytosanitary protocol. USRPA continues a friendly relationship and open communication with buyers and looks forward to the next shipment.

Volume 17, Issue 45

November 12, 2020

In This Issue:

South Louisiana Rail Facility Provides Rice Farmers Market Alternatives

The South Louisiana Rail Facility (SLRF) has had a busy week, loading an ocean vessel for Brazil, railcars to Mexico, and barges for a shipment out of New Orleans for Central America.  The efforts of the SLRF cannot be overlooked as these efforts have given farmers market alternatives that did not even exist a few years ago.

Bulk carrier “Revenger” set sail with 30,000 tons of Southwest Louisiana and East Texas rough rice headed to Brazil this week.  The vessel is scheduled to arrive at the destination port on December 1st.  This is the second vessel sold to Brazil by the South Louisiana Rail Facility (SLRF), a member of the US Rice Producers Association, for a total of 60,000 tons. 

Brookshire Dryers Helps Farmers in Southwest Texas

Brookshire Drying Company, Inc., a member of the US Rice Producers Association, has been an active participant in the rough rice market in Mexico. These railcars are headed south of the border to the largest market for U.S. long grain rice.

Congratulations once again to Pam West, manager of Brookshire Drying (Brookshire, Tx) and her crew. Our rice farmers appreciate your support and we all look forward to your continued success!

2021 NCS Cotton & Rice Virtual Conference



Virtual Conference Began on February 10, 2021 & Still Going On NOW



Sponsored by Cotton Incorporated, US Rice Producers Association, and a production of MidAmerica Farm Publications. Academic Partners are: University of Arkansas, Mississippi State University, University of Missouri, University of Tennessee, LSU AgCenter, Auburn University and Texas A&M. Technical Partners are USDA-ARS centers in Oxford, MS, Stoneville, MS and Auburn, AL. Ag Media Co-Sponsors Delta Farm Press.

Plans are being made to hold the 25th Annual Conservation Systems Conferences at the Embassy Suites Conference Center, Jonesboro, Arkansas in 2022. 

Tropical Storm Eta Hits Guatemala, Affecting Local Rice Production

The US Rice Producers Association stands in solidarity with the people of Guatemala and ARROZGUA. Tropical storm Eta has affected over 144,000 people just in the country of Guatemala, with the official death toll at 42 as of Tuesday morning.

Among those affected, the rice producers of Guatemala have been severely impacted by this natural disaster which took its toll during harvest, causing major losses in production. Guatemala produces approximately 715,000 cwt of paddy rice per year in an area of ​​roughly 13,200 acres throughout the country.

"We estimate that the producers with the greatest loss are those in the northern areas of Las Verapaces and Izabal, where we have a good part of our national production, which is already going through difficult times due to political measures. We are in constant communication with the affected rice producers, to whom we express our solidarity and moral support in the face of the damage caused by the tropical storm Eta”, said Sergio García, President of Arrozgua.

“We are shocked to see the pictures of totally flooded land. At just one farm more than 600 acres of rice were lost ready for harvest. We sympathize with them and with all those affected in our country and ask the population will follow the recommendations of the authorities, in these difficult times,” said Roberto Wong, Executive Director of Arrozgua.