Volume 18, Issue 26
July 1, 2021
In This Issue:
  • Lackluster Response to USDA June Acreage & Stock Reports
  • Washington DC Updates
Thank You 2021 Sponsors
See You In The Woodlands!
Lackluster Response to USDA June Acreage & Stock Reports
Cash prices traded sideways this week, despite the two significant USDA reports that were published. Earlier this week, the USDA released both the June Acre report and the June Stocks which reflected rice in all positions as of June 1st. Although it is a fairly rare occurrence that the USDA and the trade both agree on numbers at the time of year, that does appear to the be case for now, as the USDA lowered their acreage expectations significantly and reported higher stocks.

The lackluster response in the futures market wasn’t too surprising as dismal demand has weighed on the market for several months. The latest export sales report has long grain demand down more 3% year over year. Milled rice sales abroad have struggled to reach competitive pricing which has ultimately resulted in weaker demand out of Central America and parts of Africa and the Middle East.

Rice stocks were up 35% from last June with Arkansas accounting for most of the increase. Rough rice in all positions in Arkansas was up nearly 12 million cwts against last June, Louisiana was up about 1 million cwts and California stocks increased by 2 million cwts.

In general, the additional stocks in each of these rice-growing states are well received by the industry, especially in Arkansas and California where output is expected to be sharply down from last year. In the June Acre report, Arkansas’s planted area was down 16% from 2020, or 215,000 acres. Collectively, Southern long-grain acres were estimated to be down 261,000 in 2021, which most of the industry still expect to be a best-case scenario. Given the crop damage and some last-minute decisions to plant a different crop, it’s probable that harvested area will end a bit lower than the current estimates.

In Asia, most exporters reported lower prices again this week as import demand waffles. Freight rates have doubled since last year, driving India’s prices to lows not seen since November 2020. The story is even worse for Thailand where prices are sinking to their lowest levels in over 17 months.

Futures are relatively stagnant, even after digesting the latest reports. In fact, after last week’s short rally, most contracts are trading slightly lower this week. Lower prices, lower open interest, and lower volume suggests the market may move lower yet.
Acreage Report
Released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Washington DC Update
On Wednesday, June 30th, Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow issued a statement announcing her request for the Office of Government Ethics to review a business deal between former Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and agribusiness giant Archers Daniels Midland. Chairwoman Stabenow urged them to expedite their efforts and coordinate with the Department of Justice, the Department of Agriculture, the Inspector General for the Department of Agriculture, and other relevant federal agencies to get to the bottom of this situation.

Chairwoman Stabenow’s statement was in response to a report by the Washington Post that Perdue in early 2017 purchased an ADM soybean facility for $250,000 that was worth millions. An ADM spokesperson told the Washington Post the company did not sell the plant at a discount. ADM began negotiations with Perdue's former company, AGrowStar, in 2015 before Trump was elected, she said.

A former Perdue aide issued a statement defending his conduct. Perdue didn’t report the transaction, but according to the statement, he didn’t have to. He had restructured his assets into a new trust in which he had no ownership interest and was not a trustee, the statement said.
On Wednesday, June 30 the House Appropriations Committee held a full committee markup to consider appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year 2022. The bill was approved by a voice vote.

Amendments Considered: 
Manager’s Amendment offered by Rep. Bishop
This amendment decreases funding for agriculture buildings and facilities and Community Project Funding and increases funding for the Agriculture Research Service, Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program grants, Rural Water and Waste Disposal grants, and Healthy Fluid Milk Incentive Projects. In addition, the amendment provides appropriations for Histomonas Research, directs the Secretary to seek additional public comment on the final rule on horse protection, directs FSIS on transitioning buffalo/bison to the amenable species list, and directs NRCS to increase efforts to provide grazing lands conservation technical services. Additionally, the amendment directs the Secretary to gather input to provide kosher and halal options for TEFAP and food boxes and encourages FDA to provide clarity around labeling of plant-based products.
Rep. Lee expressed her support for the combat of natural disasters through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP).
Result: This amendment was adopted by a voice vote. 
Funding Restriction on USDA Employees Volunteering at the Southern Border offered by Rep. Calvert
This amendment would restrict USDA funds from being used to detail United States Department of Agriculture employees to the southern border for support services related to illegal immigrants at the southern border until the President issues a national emergency declaration. 
Rep. Calvert argued that if more qualified trained professionals are needed to help at the border, then the President should ask for that help and not solicit volunteers from unrelated agencies. Rep. Bishop spoke in opposition of the amendment saying that this amendment would stop employees from helping with a very important humanitarian issue of getting children out of HHS and back with their families, and he urged a no vote. Rep. Fortenberry supported the amendment and noted that most of the volunteers are from the Natural Resource Conservation Service, whose primary job is to support U.S. agriculture and environmental work for farmers and producers. Rep. Fortenberry continued to say that there is clearly a need for resources down at the border and it should not be experts from the NRCS leading the crisis. 
Result: The amendment was rejected by a recorded vote of 25-33. 
 To Revoke Line Speed Waivers offered by Rep. Lee
Prohibits any line speed increase in meat and poultry processing plants during the ongoing pandemic. The amendment revokes the sixteen-line speed waivers currently in place and prevents any new line speed waivers from being administered for meat and poultry processing plants. 
Rep. Lee argued that Line Speed makes it difficult for processors to practice social distancing during their 8-hour shifts in tight quarters. Rep. Bishop supported the amendment and said it encourages protecting worker safety while maintaining production. Rep. Pocan spoke in favor of the amendment arguing that increased line speeds threaten the health safety of workers and consumers, raising risk beyond covid exposure but also to other diseases such as salmonella. Full committee Chair DeLauro also rose in support of the amendment and discussed the already high health risks that workers face in processing plants.
Ranking Member Fortenberry opposed the amendment and said that it would threaten the U.S. food supply and that there are alternative practices to protecting workers while maintaining line speeds. Rep. Moolenaar spoke said that data shows fewer worker injuries in the FSIS programs and research from Iowa State University shows that reducing line speeds would create a surplus of hogs and increase the risk of food shortage. Rep. Womack feared that the amendment would decrease agriculture production and said that there is no connection between line speed waivers and COVID-19. Rep. Hinson also opposed the amendment, pointing out that line speed waivers have been around since the Clinton Administration and have boosted productivity. Rep. Hinson also said that Sec. Vilsack has the power to rescind any line speed waivers if he believes necessary and it is not Congress's decision to determine when that is.
Result: The amendment was adopted by a voice vote. 
To Prohibit the Civilian Climate Corps Initiative offered by Rep. Cline
Prohibits the funds made available by this Act from being used to implement Executive Order 14008 to create a Civilian Climate Corps Initiative at the United States Department of Agriculture.
Rep. Bishop spoke in opposition of the amendment and argued that the climate corps initiative funding helps combat invasive species that are threatening agricultural products nationwide. Rep. Schultz spoke against the amendment, noting that South Florida is home to several invasive species and that funding this executive order is necessary to combat non-native species. Rep. Price also rose in opposition of the amendment, noting that climate change is a front-line issue and the funding for the creation of the civilian climate corps is an important step in involving communities.
Rep. Fortenberry expressed support for the amendment and said that this executive order has not been approved for Congress to fund and there should be more consideration for environmental health solutions. 
Result: The amendment was rejected by a voice vote. 
This amendment directs the Secretary of Agriculture to take such actions as may be necessary to prohibit the purchase of agricultural land located in the United States by companies owned in full or in part by the People's Republic of China.
Rep. Newhouse said that the Chinese government has been purchasing U.S. agricultural assets and allowing them to do so would lead to a Chinese-owned agricultural monopoly, posing an immediate threat to U.S. national security and food security. Rep. Diaz-Balart also argued in favor of the amendment, citing the threat to national security. Rep. Fortenberry said that the amendment is about fairness, pointing to the fact that the U.S. government cannot purchase land in China.
Rep. Bishop supports the concept of the amendment but argued there would be unforeseen consequences with passing this amendment and ultimately spoke against the amendment. Rep. Meng spoke in opposition of the amendment and expressed concern with singling out China, noting that the amendment could further encourage anti-Asian propaganda.
ResultThe amendment was adopted by a voice vote.  
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 
Post raises its estimate of market year MY 2020/21 (April 2021 – March 2022) rice production (milled equivalent) to 7.9 MMT, which is 425,000 MT higher than Post’s last estimate. Post maintains its forecast for MY 2021/22 (October 2021 – September 2022) wheat area at 2.6 MHa, as record prices continue to incentivize expansion.
Upcoming Events
July 6-8, 2021
July 8, 2021
Texas A&M AgriLife Field Day, Beaumont, TX
July 13, 2021
RiceTec Texas Field Day: Begins at 4 p.m., Nada Hall, Garwood, Texa
July 15, 2021
LSU AgCenter Row Rice Field Day: Northeast Research Station, St. Joseph, Louisiana, 5-6:30 p.m.
Aug. 5, 2021
RiceTec Arkansas Rice Field Day: Harrisburg, Arkansas, tours start at 4 p.m., followed by dinner and presentations.
Aug. 6, 2021
University of Arkansas Rice Field Day: Rice Research and Experiment Station, Stuttgart, Arkansas. Morning tours followed by lunch.
Aug. 12, 2021
University of Arkansas Rice College: Pine Tree Research Station near Colt, Arkansas. This training event, hosted every other year, will be at Pine Tree for the first time. This will be an all-day training event for rice growers, consultants and industry personnel. Pre-registration will be required, along with a fee of $100 per attendee. Additional details and registration information will be sent out as the event nears. Space will be limited, so be sure to register quickly
Aug. 19, 2021
Missouri Rice Research & Merchandising Council Rice Field Day: Eight miles west of Malden, Missouri, at the Missouri Rice Research Farm, 40130 Freddie Tanner Dr., Campbell, Missouri. Registration begins at 8 a.m., tours follow at 8:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided
Aug. 19, 2021
University of Arkansas Rohwer Field Day: Rohwer Research Station, Rohwer, Arkansas
Aug. 25, 2021
California Rice Experiment Station Field Day (tentative): Briggs, California
Oct. 7, 2021
University of Arkansas Virtual Rice and Soybean Field Day (tentative date)
Oct. 14 - 17, 2021
The 84th International Rice Festival: The rice festival will return to Crowley, Louisiana, after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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p. (713) 974-7423
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