Volume 17, Issue 30
July 30, 2020
In This Issue:
  • Good Early Field Yields, Hurricane Hanna Hurts Second Crop
  • COVID Supplemental - Heroes vs. Heals
  • Texas Rice Update
  • USRPA Rice Virtual Training Seminar in China
  • USRPA's First Rice Master Class Kicks-Off August 3rd
Good Early Field Yields, Hurricane Hanna Hurts Second Crop
The rice market has continued to trade sideways in the pre-harvest interval since the last report. Export sales for the week were notably higher than the previous week, but still at a dismal 23,000 MT. There is no significant amount of rice yet to trade until the first lots of new crop are dried and graded. Vessel loadings note a similar scenario, with very low tonnage as well.

The benchmark Asian prices have remained fairly constant over the week with little to no movement in most areas. Even currency valuations have been muted over this time. As if to accentuate the static nature of the market, USDA has held its world market price estimate constant.

In farm country, the Gulf Coast harvest has begun in fits and starts as growers fight to get the crop out amid constant rainfall. With the entire coast from New Orleans to Brownsville having been inundated over the past week, this has proven quite a challenge. Early Texas lots reported very promising yield numbers, with some estimates in excess of 10,000 lbs per acre. Later rice that was subjected to flooding has seen notably lower projections with reports of downed rice and sprouting becoming more prevalent. Further, these attempts to mud out the rice in the rain has negatively impacted second crop potential by as much as 30% in those fields.

The crop progression in Mississippi and the Upper Delta is also combating the weather, however continued development is being reported as well. From a pricing standpoint, cash prices seem to be dependent on the delivery window, with those earlier windows commanding higher price potential. Pricing will likely deteriorate into harvest as the larger acreages come online and a better picture of the quality emerges.

In the futures market, the week noted modest losses across the board. Open contracts shed between .73% - 2.6% respectively and with very little market carry between nearby and deferred contracts. Daily volume was notably higher than last week, while Thursday’s open interest was marginally lower. The end of the month is upon the industry and it will probably be the end of August before any significant volume is ready to be traded. In the meantime, there will be a lot of speculation and positioning from all components of the industry as the trade works to determine what exactly the new crop will look like.
Zack Tanner, President & Owner of Tanner Seed Company in the Missouri Bootheel, takes a close look at the promising rice variety DG-263L.
COVID Supplemental - Heroes vs. Heals
Negotiations continue on another round of relief although there is much finger pointing and blame from both parties as they search for common ground. The House version of relief, the HEROES Act, costs nearly $3.5 trillion, while the Senate version of relief, the HEALS Act, costs approximately $1 trillion. From a federal budget standpoint both bills are generally considered emergency spending and therefore add to the current federal debt of somewhere around $23 trillion. The difference in the cost of the bills highlights the different approaches to relief, with Democrats supporting a more expansive response, while Republicans are proposing a more limited approach.

Two major sticking points appear to be Republican opposition to extending the $600 weekly unemployment benefit, which Republicans say provides a disincentive for workers to return to their jobs, and Democratic opposition to liability protection for employers from virus-related medical claims, which Democrats say would deprive workers of legal rights when they return to their jobs.

With a scheduled August recess beginning the end of next week, it is highly uncertain if Congressional leaders will be able to reach a bipartisan aid deal to address the pandemic by the end of next week. The Administration has proposed going forward with a modest coronavirus aid package which would extend unemployment benefits expiring this week, along with a moratorium on evictions from federally backed housing. The proposal would provide some immediate relief for two of the most pressing concerns while allowing more time for negotiations on a larger response package. Reports indicate that it was met with little support/enthusiasm.

For all the differences contained in the HEROES/HEALS proposals there are areas of agreement, such as another round of direct payments to individuals, tax credits for companies to keep workers on payroll, and aid to families with children, to name just a few.

Both HEROES and HEALS contains ag directed relief. A major difference is the approach taken in the HEALS Act. For example, the agriculture provisions contained in the HEALS Act largely leaves the details of providing the $20.5 billion for agricultural producers, growers, and processors impacted by the coronavirus up to the Secretary of Agriculture. There are those who would prefer to provide more direction to the Secretary in the provision of funding.

It is important to remember, the HEALS Act is the opening position of Senate Republicans. There is a whole negotiating process before them which will involve both chambers of Congress and the Administration. One would expect that neither HEROES or HEALS agriculture provisions will be the final action for agriculture relief.

Conaway Welcomes Jacobs,
Balderson to House Agriculture Committee

Washington, D.C. – House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) released the following statement welcoming Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) and Congressman Troy Balderson (OH-12) to the House Agriculture Committee:

“As we continue our work at the House Agriculture Committee on behalf of America’s farmers and ranchers, I’m excited to welcome Chris Jacobs and Troy Balderson. Both understand the importance of supporting our farm families, and I look forward to working alongside Chris and Troy on behalf of rural America.” 

Texas Rice Update
By: Dr. M.O. Way, Prof. of Entomology, Texas AgriLife Research & Extension Ctr.

Well, the Texas Rice Belt survived Hurricane Hannah, but rain from the storm came at an inopportune time. Texas rice farmers are in the middle of cutting their crop, so now many fields are muddy, but farmers need to continue cutting rice which ruts up fields for the ratoon crop. However, preliminary yield estimates look very good, so far.

Just want to briefly talk about an insect farmers commonly ask me about. Usually, farmers see the egg mass of this insect which is harmless to rice but can be painful to humans! The insect is a deer fly (Order Diptera: Family Tabanidae). The eggs are laid in a mass (like shingles on a roof) on rice foliage, usually near the tip of a leaf. The eggs hatch and the larvae drop into the water where they feed on detritus and small aquatic invertebrates… not on rice plants. They can be easily confused with stem borer egg masses, but deer fly egg masses are very dark and the individual eggs are spindle shaped and narrow. Once the aquatic larvae pupate and emerge as adults, the females seek a blood meal to produce eggs. We all know deer and horse flies have painful bites using mouthparts that slice your skin causing blood to ooze out of the wounds. They then lap up the blood. The males feed on pollen.

So, if you see these egg masses, squash ‘em!
Deer fly adult; photo attributed to University of Florida
Deer fly egg mass; photo by Katie Ruth

Farmers in East Texas were fortunate to avoid any damage from Hurricane Hanna last week and were busy cutting rice.

Pictured left is a field of RiceTec 745 at the farm of Neal & Meredith Stoesser near Dayton.

Young farmer Wes Stoesser surveys the family rice fields, observing recent damage from feral hogs.
USRPA Rice Virtual Training Seminar in China
To accommodate the global travel restriction and adapt to rapidly developing cloud technology, USRPA is looking forward to its first public virtual event via Zoom in China on Wednesday 10 am -12 pm August 26th, 2020 (US Central time is Tuesday, August 25, 9-11pm). 

The educational seminar on US rice will be the first of a series virtual events that will benefit both international rice buyers as well as US companies that are particularly interested in expanding their global markets.    
The seminar has so far attracted dozens attendees in China which primarily consist of rice importers, food processors and Chinese rice industry leaders. This 2 hour event will begin with presentation on latest US rice market, and different topics presented by renowned industry speakers followed by a Q&A session. USDA FAS has also accepted the invitation and will be one of the guest speakers. 
China is open to US rice thanks to the efforts of USRPA, the first rice organization to venture into this market. After the successful completion of trade mission in China in 2019, USRPA continues to monitor the market, communicate to trade contacts and plans to conduct promotional programs.

The seminar is free and open to all interested rice industry. Live translation in subtitles will be available.   
USRPA's First Rice Master Class Kicks-Off August 3rd
USRPA continues adapting its promotional programs to continue expanding the message that U.S. rice is nutritious, economical, and the perfect grain for Mexicans diet especially during this time where COVID-19 is changing everyone's lives.

On August 3rd, we will kick-off the first Virtual Rice Class in Mexico! The webinar series consists of 5 modules with Mexican, Asian, European, Latin and, American dishes using U.S. long-grain rice. Melissa Morelos, Professional Chef, Influencer, and Finalist of Master Chef Mexico will be in charge of creating and sharing various recipes offering an innovative and different culinary learning experiences to the audience.

The classes will be uploaded on a free online platform where participants will need to login to attend the Master Class. USRPA, along with the webinar, continues with its social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram.
Upcoming Events
August 5, 2020
University of Arkansas Row Crops Field Day
Northeast Research & Extension Center
1241 W. County Road 780, Keiser, Arkansas – check back later for more information.

August 7, 2020
University of Arkansas Rice Field Day
Rice Research & Extension Center, Stuttgart, Arkansas – check back later for more information.

August 20, 2020
Missouri Rice Research and Merchandising Council Field Day
More Information Coming Soon.
Food & Ag Regulatory and Policy Roundup
Government of Mexico Launches New Health Campaign Targeting Processed and Imported Foods
Producer’s captured higher rice prices in MY 2019/20 which is expected to increase somewhat planting intentions. 
Arkansas Rice Update

It includes information on progress, rice stink bugs, potassium deficiency, more on foliar vs. soil-applied nitrogen fertilizers, disease update, and rice markets.

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