Volume 18, Issue 25
June 25, 2021
In This Issue:
  • Ralston Family Farms is America's Rice
  • Washington DC Update
  • Rice Market Update: All Eyes on June 30th USDA Acreage Report
Ralston Family Farms is America's Rice
Nestled in the beautiful Arkansas River Valley, some 65 miles northwest of Little Rock, is a rice farm far away from the beaten path of the traditional Arkansas Delta rice-farming region. A multi-generational family farm, Tim and Robin Ralston are carving their place in America’s rice industry as they grow, harvest and mill both traditional and aromatic varieties. Rice at Ralston Family Farms is a quality consumer product, not a commodity as evidenced by their successful marketing efforts to numerous retailers and supermarkets. These efforts are due to their mission: to provide the best tasting and highest quality rice available through sustainable farming practices that improve the land while giving back to help end the fight against food security across the United States.

A growing preference among consumers is Ralston’s system to grow sustainably for future generations and be good stewards of the land, a practice that has always been important to the family. Ralston Family Farms not only produces their own seed, farms, harvests, and mills their rice, they also brand it in patented, recyclable packaging with an easy pour spout. The revolutionary, eco-friendly packaging is completely unique to the market.

Earlier this month Dwight Roberts, President & CEO of the US Rice Producers Association visited Ralston Family Farms located just south of the town Atkins on the Arkansas River. 

“I have visited rice farms and milling operations in numerous countries around the world but I don’t believe I have ever seen anything as unique as Ralston Family Farms and their attention to so many details,” Dwight said. “This is a real model for the future and I sincerely congratulate the Ralstons on their success through very hard work.” 

Visit www.ralstonfamilyfarms.com to learn more about the varieties and the uniqueness of Ralston Family Farms.
Dwight Roberts enjoys his visit with Tim & Robin Ralston.
Ralston Family Farms is located in the beautiful Arkansas River Valley.
Washington DC Update
On June 23, 2021, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Homer Wilkes for Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment, Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Homer Wilkes, a native of Port Gibson, Mississippi, currently serves as Director of Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Restoration Team. He is one of the five Federal Executive Council members to oversee the rebuilding of the Ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Oil Spill of 2010. He served as the Acting Associate Chief of USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Washington during the period of 2010 to 2012. Dr. Wilkes' tenure with the United States Department of Agriculture spans over 41 years. During his tenure he has served as State Conservationist for Mississippi; Chief Financial Officer for NRCS in Washington, DC; Deputy State Conservationist for Mississippi; and Chief of Administrative Staff for the South Technical Center for NRCS in Fort Worth, Texas.

Dr. Wilkes also served as Naval Supply Officer in the United States Navy Reserves from November 1984 to April 2007. Dr. Wilkes received his Bachelors, Master of Business Administration, and Ph.D. in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University. He also successfully completed the USDA Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (SES CDP) through American University’s Key Executive Leadership Certificate in Public Policy. Dr. Wilkes and his wife Kim, currently reside in Ridgeland, MS. They have three sons, Justin, Austin, and Harrison. He enjoys fishing, restoring antique vehicles, and family activities.
On June 18, 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Xochitl Torres Small for Under Secretary of Rural Development, Department of Agriculture. Xochitl Torres Small is the granddaughter of migrant farmworkers and grew up in the borderlands of New Mexico. In 2008, she came home from college to work as a field organizer, working in neighborhoods known as colonias, in southern New Mexico. She served as a field representative for New Mexico’s Senator Tom Udall, where she collaborated with local grassroots leaders, business owners, elected officials, and regional and state economic development officials to help communities access American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. Torres Small studied water law and has worked closely with rural water utilities. In 2018, Torres Small became the first woman and first person of color to represent New Mexico’s second congressional district, the largest district that isn’t its own state. Torres Small served as the U.S. Representative for New Mexico’s 2nd congressional district in the 116th Congress. Torres Small was defeated in 2020 by Yvette Herrell.
Rice Market Update: All Eyes on June 30th USDA Acreage Report
Although there are a few cash bids surfacing, the cash market is still considered extremely quiet. Because the bids that are surfacing vary significantly, it appears that mills are offering more for price discovery purposes than for actual demand. 

Rainfall throughout much of the delta proved relentless this week as did cooler temperatures and windier conditions. For these reasons, crop growth has drastically slowed. In addition to potentially lower yields brought on by cooler temperatures and wind, many growers believe that even the later planted rice may fail and not be brought to full production. This could ultimately make the projected small crop even smaller. 

Last week, the futures market appeared to be establishing some sort of a downward trend as prices ebbed lower and both open interest and volume were up. This week, however, the market reacted to the negative weather by forming a temporary, albeit sharp, reversal as the nearby contract gained over $1 per cwt against last week. Because open interest and volume are both decidedly down and prices are up, the market will likely remain inflated until the shorts get covered. Once that happens, rough rice contracts are probable to drive lower again. 

In Asia, ongoing container shortages and excessive shipping rates have subdued trade to some degree this week, which ultimately drove prices lower in several key exporting countries. India’s total rice export value is nearly twice what it was a year ago on account of rock bottom pricing and a strong appetite in Africa. African importers have recently signaled a slowing of demand until freight rates can normalize which may leave India with additional product to sell. Despite this development, most traders don’t suspect Indian exporters to suppress prices any further in the immediate future. 

Next week, the USDA will release its stocks report, showing rice in all positions as of June 1st. In addition to the stocks report, the USDA will also release its updated June acre report. Although California’s acres will be heavily reduced from the initial estimate, the impact on the market will be minimal since the industry has already reached a consensus on planted area. For long-grain however, the industry is hopeful that the USDA will shave their projection, bringing it more in line with reality.  
U.S. again votes against U.N. call to end Cuba embargo
NEW YORK, June 23 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden's administration on Wednesday continued Washington's tradition of voting against an annual United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for an end to a U.S. economic embargo on Cuba.
The resolution was adopted for the 29th time with 184 votes in favor, three abstentions, and two no votes - the United States and Israel. The U.N. vote can carry political weight, but only the U.S. Congress can lift the more than 50-year-old embargo.

The United States consistently voted against the U.N. resolutions for 24 years but abstained for the first time in 2016 under former President Barack Obama, as Washington and Havana forged a closer relationship.

Washington then returned to opposing the resolution under President Donald Trump's administration. Trump also rolled back nearly all measures Obama had taken to ease the embargo and improve ties between the United States and its old Cold War foe.
Farm Service Agency Now Accepting Nominations for County Committee Members
WASHINGTON, June 22, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) began accepting nominations for county committee members on June 15. Elections will occur in certain Local Administrative Areas (LAA) for these members who make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. All nomination forms for the 2021 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 2, 2021.

“We need enthusiastic, diverse leaders to serve other agricultural producers locally on FSA County Committees,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “Just as our nation’s agriculture industry is diverse from coast to coast, so are the viewpoints and experiences that you can represent on your local committee. Now’s your time to step up and truly make an impact on how federal programs are administered at the local level to reach all producers fairly and equitably.”

Trade Update

Food & Ag Regulatory
and Policy Roundup 
While COVID-19 and African Swine Fever continue to constrain Philippine feed demand, corn and rice posted strong production in the third quarter of MY20/21 and are both set for record high output. Post raises MY21/22 rice production to 12.4 million MT due to greater adoption of improved varieties through the Hybrid Rice Program.
Upcoming Events
June 29, 2021
Horizon Ag Field Tour, Richard Farms, LA
For info call: 866-237-6167
June 29, 2021
University of Arkansas Rice Agricultural Sustainability Virtual Field Trip
June 29, 2021
Texas A&M AgriLife Field Day, Eagle Lake
June 30, 2021
LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station Field Day
July 6-8, 2021
Rice Market & Technology Convention
July 8, 2021
Texas A&M AgriLife Field Day, Beaumont, TX
July 15, 2021
LSU AgCenter Row Rice Field Day
Aug. 6, 2021
University of Arkansas Rice Field Day (tentative)
Aug. 19, 2021
Missouri Rice Research Field Day, Campbell, M
Aug. 19, 2021
University of Arkansas Rohwer Field Day
Aug. 25, 2021
California Rice Experiment Station Field Day (tentative)
Oct. 7, 2021
University of Arkansas Virtual Rice and Soybean Field Day

25722 Kingsland Blvd.
Suite 203
Katy, TX 77494
p. (713) 974-7423
f. (713) 974-7696
e. info@usriceproducers.com
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