• Missouri Weather Update

    by Deborah Willenborg | May 04, 2017
    More rain in the forecast
    US-Weather-Map
    PORTAGEVILLE, MO -- Missouri rice country has not been spared by the storm system ravaging the mid-south.  In the past week, this area of the state has received between 6 and 10 inches of rainfall on top of already saturated soil conditions.  Floodways and ditches are at capacity or over, and a fair amount of water coming south from the Ozarks has also helped overwhelm the lake and tributary capacities.  

    “All corn in the area was planted, some beans, a little cotton and a ​large amount of rice is in the ground,” said Trent Haggard, with the University of Missouri’s Fisher Delta Research Center.  “Currently, lots of area fields appear as if they are rice fields that have already been brought up to a flood.  All recently planted rice has now been flooded for several days.  We need the water to recede quickly to attempt to salvage the costs already invested in the acres that have been planted.”

    Reporting on conditions in southeast Missouri, rice consultant Amy Beth Dowdy, said, “In Pemiscot and Dunklin counties there are probably around 1,500 to 2,000 acres flooded with only inches of water.  However, Butler, Stoddard, and New Madrid counties have it worse - they are flooded by feet of water.  My best guesstimate would be 10,000 acres underwater.”
  • USDA Estimates Rice Acreage Down 17 Percent

    by Michael Klein | Mar 31, 2017

    Can you check again?
    COMM-USDA Estimates Rice Acreage Down 17 Percent-170331

    WASHINGTON, DC - Area planted for rice in 2017 is expected to total 2.62 million acres, 524,000 less than in 2016, and back at the level planted in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service's Prospective Plantings report released today.  Planted acreage is forecast significantly lower for four of the six major rice-producing states with California almost unchanged at 539,000 acres and Louisiana down just eight percent to 400,000 acres.  Mississippi, which saw the largest percentage increase in 2016 (47 percent), will see the largest percentage decrease this year, down 38 percent to 120,000 acres.

    Long-grain, representing 73 percent of the total rice acreage, is expected to be 533,000 acres less than last year, with 360,000 of those acres being lost in Arkansas, the top rice producing state.  Medium-grain, now 25 percent of the total rice acreage, is projected to be up 1,000 acres to 666,000 - 72 percent of which is in California.  Area planted for all short-grain varieties, representing just two percent of production, is anticipated to be up 19 percent from last year's total.

    USA Rice Farmers Chairman and Missouri farmer Blake Gerard said, "With weak prices and uncertainty in our overseas markets, this dip in planting intentions is not very surprising. Here in Missouri, planting intentions are still somewhat in flux, but very soon the market and weather conditions are going to help solidify our decisions for the coming year."

    The USDA report is based on information supplied to USDA by growers, and though generally accurate within 5 percent, actual planted acres could vary.  The Rice Acreage Report, based on actual planted acres, will be published at the end of June.

  • USA Rice Farmers Board Member Elected to MO Rice Research and Merchandising Council

    by Michael Klein | Dec 15, 2016
    The Daniels Family
    Rance Daniels Family in rice field edited

    HORNERSVILLE, MO – Earlier this week, Rance Daniels, a third-generation Missouri rice farmer and member of the USA Rice Farmers Board of Directors, was elected to the Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council.

    Daniels has been looking to grow his leadership involvement within Missouri where he currently serves as chairman of the Missouri Farm Bureau’s Rice Committee and as an officer for the Dunklin County Farm Bureau.  Daniels particularly saw benefit to joining the Rice Research and Merchandising Council as a way to work on state promotion and research activities.

    “Promotion efforts are important to raise both domestic and international consumption of U.S.-grown rice.  I also want to see us brag a bit more about the rice industry’s conservation and sustainability efforts.  We have a good story to tell and I think the general public would better support us if they knew all of the great things we’re doing on our land,” said Daniels.

    USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward said, “We congratulate Rance on his election to this important job in Missouri.  As one of our shining graduates of the Rice Leadership Program, Rance continues to demonstrate his value across USA Rice’s various boards and committees and within his home state.”

    In addition to representing Missouri on the USA Rice Farmers Board, Daniels also serves on that groups’ Conservation and Crop Insurance Committees, and on USA Rice’s Regulatory Affairs and Food Safety Committee, Communications Committee, and Latin America Trade Policy subcommittee. He is also an original member of the USA Rice/Ducks Unlimited Stewardship Partnership group.  He and his wife, Robin, have three children and farm rice and soybeans with the goal of making sure their children have a successful industry and operation to begin their careers as the next generation of family farmers.

  • Missouri Rice Harvest Underway

    by Deborah Willenborg | Sep 01, 2016
    It's harvest time in MO with the Daniels Family
    Rance-Daniels-& Family,-2016-harvest
    HORNERSVILLE, MO – Combines roared to life here this week as rice farmers took advantage of favorable weather to get harvest underway just as National Rice Month kicked off.

    On Monday, USA Rice attended fundraisers in Kennett, Missouri hosted by the local rice and cotton industries in support of U.S. Representative Jason Smith (R-MO) and U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO).  Both Missouri legislators were vocal in their opposition to federal regulatory overreach against agriculture and private landowners, and pledged to continue supporting the Bootheel’s farmers if reelected in November.

    On Tuesday, USA Rice staff toured the Martin Rice Co, a family-owned rice mill in Bernie that joined the Rice Millers’ Association this summer.  Owner and operator Mike Martin told USA Rice he is excited to become more involved in the organization, and has prioritized helping the industry lift the embargo with Cuba.

    Blake Gerard, chairman of USA Rice Farmers, gave USA Rice staff a tour of his seed rice operation just over the Illinois border.  Gerard anticipates beginning harvest next week, so is busily making field and machinery preparations, and hoping for dry weather.

    On Wednesday, Hornersville’s Rance Daniels began his operation’s rice harvest and shared his optimism for the 2016 crop, “We began a little earlier than usual this year but we have been blessed with cooperative weather and as every farmer has probably learned at some point, you’ve got to take advantage of that.”

    Daniels added, “Like most communities in the Bootheel, Hornersville is very agriculture-dependent and so it’s kind of a special time of year for my neighbors and me to begin putting rice in the bins again.  And like most farms, harvest is something my whole family gets excited about and there’s really a job for all three generations of my family.  My son can’t hardly wait to get home from school to chip in where he can and I think that says a lot.”

    USA Rice is participating in other University of Missouri events this week sponsored by the Delta Fisher Research Center in Portageville, including the annual Skeet Shoot, Fish Fry, and Delta Dinner with state and local politicians, and agriculture industry representatives.  USA Rice also will host a booth at the annual Field Day showcasing rice and other crop research held at the Research Center tomorrow.

  • Large Turnout at Annual Missouri Rice Conference

    by Lee Brinckley | Feb 18, 2016
    Everything MO needs to know about U.S. rice
    2016-MO-Rice-Conference
    MALDEN, MISSOURI – More than one hundred rice farmers gathered here yesterday for the 2016 Missouri Rice Conference.  This was the first time the conference has been held in Malden and the new location drew a lot of new faces, including many young farmers interested in growing rice.

    The conference agenda featured presentations primarily geared toward ongoing rice research such as furrow irrigated row rice, rice weed control, rice varieties, and production issues.

    Research presenters included:  Dr. Michael Aide, Southeast Missouri State University; Jim Heiser, University of Missouri’s Fisher Delta Research Center; Matt Rhine, University of Missouri’s Fisher Delta Research Center; and Dr. Chuck Wilson, University of Arkansas’ Rice Research Station in Stuttgart.  The U.S. Rice Producers Association also gave an update on domestic and international markets.

    A conference highlight was a visit by Congressman Jason Smith, a Republican from Missouri’s Eighth District.  Smith represents the largest congressional district in Missouri, known as the Bootheel that encompasses the entire rice-growing region of the state.  

    Following his speech, Smith answered questions from the rice farmers in the room.  Smith told attendees, “I’m supporting legislation by Rick Crawford in Arkansas that would remove the barriers to agricultural trade in Cuba.”  He acknowledged the importance of regaining the Cuban rice market and shared his intentions to travel to Cuba sometime this year to learn about the island’s commercial needs.

    Smith also said he supports, “providing food aid through in-kind commodities rather than sending cash to refugee-stricken nations.”  He talked about USA Rice’s involvement in the food aid debate and said he agreed with the position of providing in-kind contributions rather than unaccountable cash transactions.

    USA Rice and the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Stewardship Partnership were sponsors of the conference.

  • Missouri Hosts First Rice Conservation Field Day

    by Lee Brinckley | Feb 04, 2016
    Packed in
    MO-Hosts-First-Rice-Conservation-Field-Day 
    PORTAGEVILLE, MO – Yesterday morning, more than 50 rice farmers and conservation professionals gathered at the Delta Fisher Research Center in Portageville, Missouri, for the first ever Southeast Missouri Rice Conservation Field Day.  

    The Field Day was organized by USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited to provide outreach to rice farmers in the Missouri Bootheel for their National Rice Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project, Sustaining the Future of Rice.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Missouri in conjunction with the University of Missouri’s Fisher Delta Research Center handled most of the local outreach and planning for the event.

    Participants had an opportunity to hear presentations on behalf of the Missouri NRCS State Conservationist’s office, NRCS headquarters in Washington, Ducks Unlimited, and a legislative update from USA Rice Vice President of Government Affairs Ben Mosely.  

    Mosely told the crowd, “It is great to get so many people together with positive common goals and share our respective visions for the RCPP and the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Stewardship Partnership.  USA Rice looks forward to continuing to build relationships in the Bootheel and deliver additional funding to the Missouri rice industry.”

    Blake Gerard, Missouri rice farmer and chairman of the USA Rice Farmers also attended the event, and said, “I was thrilled to see how receptive my friends and neighbors were towards this Field Day, and it was imperative that conservation staff were in the room and able to answer specific, technical questions for folks.”

    Gerard concluded, “Our region needs to be implementing as many conservation practices as possible as preventative measures in today’s environmentally sensitive society.  This project is bringing the incentive right to our front door to make sure we continue to responsibly care for our land.”

    Applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program portion of the National Rice RCPP project are due to Missouri and Louisiana NRCS offices by November 20.

  • Missouri Hosts First Rice Conservation Field Day

    by Deborah Willenborg | Nov 13, 2015
    Packed in
    MO-Hosts-First-Rice-Conservation-Field-Day 
    PORTAGEVILLE, MO – Yesterday morning, more than 50 rice farmers and conservation professionals gathered at the Delta Fisher Research Center in Portageville, Missouri, for the first ever Southeast Missouri Rice Conservation Field Day.  

    The Field Day was organized by USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited to provide outreach to rice farmers in the Missouri Bootheel for their National Rice Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project, Sustaining the Future of Rice.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Missouri in conjunction with the University of Missouri’s Fisher Delta Research Center handled most of the local outreach and planning for the event.

    Participants had an opportunity to hear presentations on behalf of the Missouri NRCS State Conservationist’s office, NRCS headquarters in Washington, Ducks Unlimited, and a legislative update from USA Rice Vice President of Government Affairs Ben Mosely.  

    Mosely told the crowd, “It is great to get so many people together with positive common goals and share our respective visions for the RCPP and the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Stewardship Partnership.  USA Rice looks forward to continuing to build relationships in the Bootheel and deliver additional funding to the Missouri rice industry.”

    Blake Gerard, Missouri rice farmer and chairman of the USA Rice Farmers also attended the event, and said, “I was thrilled to see how receptive my friends and neighbors were towards this Field Day, and it was imperative that conservation staff were in the room and able to answer specific, technical questions for folks.”

    Gerard concluded, “Our region needs to be implementing as many conservation practices as possible as preventative measures in today’s environmentally sensitive society.  This project is bringing the incentive right to our front door to make sure we continue to responsibly care for our land.”

    Applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program portion of the National Rice RCPP project are due to Missouri and Louisiana NRCS offices by November 20.

  • USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited RCPP Project Implementation Rolls Forward

    by Deborah Willenborg | Oct 02, 2015
    RCPP enrollment - it's time
    RCPP Sustaining the Future of Rice
    WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) project, “Sustaining the Future of Rice” takes another step forward in the implementation process.

    Earlier this year USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded the project $10 million in funding for the six major rice producing states.  Under the project rice farmers will have two years to enroll in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).  NRCS offices in Missouri are now accepting EQIP applications from rice farmers and Louisiana NRCS will follow suit ​in coming weeks.  Applications in Missouri and Louisiana will be accepted through November 20, 2015.

    Blake Gerard, Missouri rice farmer and chairman of the USA Rice Farmers, said, “I’m really excited at the pace this project is moving, everything seems to be happening right on target with the overall schedule established.”  Gerard added that “installing conservation practices on our crop ground is just the right thing to do and so I urge fellow growers to take a look at their conservation plans over the next few weeks and try to find some additional practices they can add under this RCPP project.”

    Rice farmers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri are encouraged to submit EQIP applications as part of the “Sustaining the Future of Rice” RCPP project at their local NRCS offices. Sign-up for CSP is projected to begin in each of the six rice states late in 2016.

    To learn more about the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited RCPP project, visit here.
  • Fisher Delta Center Field Day Attracts a Crowd

    by Michael Klein | Sep 04, 2015
    Senator Roy Blunt Speaking at Missouri Field DaySenator Roy Blunt
    PORTAGEVILLE, MO – USA Rice was a sponsor of the University of Missouri Fisher Delta Research Center’s 54th annual field day held here Wednesday.  More than 500 people, including producers, agribusiness representatives, and local, state, and national elected officials attended an appreciation breakfast before the field day tours.


    Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) were keynote speakers at the event.  Each addressed the growing importance of agricultural research with today’s growing global population and highlighted Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) overreach, which they said is hurting American farmers.

    USA Rice’s Chuck Wilson and Kristen Dayton participated in the event and also met with Missouri rice producers from around the region, including Cape Girardeau’s Blake Gerard, the newly elected chairman of USA Rice Farmers.