Rice Farming


Industry News

LA cooperative files bankruptcy
Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., was notified on April 10 that Central Louisiana Grain Cooperative Inc. filed bankruptcy in U.S. District Court.

In early March, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry placed the Louisiana cooperative in receivership for non-payment of grain contracts to farmers who already made grain deliveries. Since then, the department has conducted an onsite evaluation of the financial records, contracts and the cooperative’s day-to-day operations.

“The department has been in on-going negotiations for the last four weeks trying to work out a solution that would benefit all farmers involved, and today’s filing is disappointing,” Strain said. “My hands are tied; I now have no choice but to instruct the staff to lock the doors and wait for the courts to decide the future of the cooperative.”

AgraQuest Inc. announces Southern team/unique products
AgraQuest Inc. has announced the creation of a new sales and technical services team serving growers in the Mississippi Delta region and southern United States. The team will focus on delivering unique fungicide and insecticide products to rice, soybean and cereals growers that provide effective pest control and improved yields and quality.

Chris Coombs, AgraQuest’s vice president, North America, will lead the group, which includes Sam Newsom, sales manager for the Mid-South region (Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri and western Tennessee), Bill Thomas, sales manager in Texas and southwest Louisiana and Sam Atwell, who will provide technical service support.

“The team AgraQuest has assembled brings a wealth of experience to this market,” said Coombs. “We’ve spent the past several years, through university studies and grower demonstrations, showing that Serenade and Ballad Plus fungicides can provide consistent performance and yield improvements, especially when used in a program with strobilurin fungicides.”

The team will offer growers a rounded portfolio of fungicides and insecticides, including Baritone, a Bt-based lepidopteran insecticide launched in March. The pipeline of new products also includes an insecticide with activity against sucking pests, scheduled to launch by year’s end, pending EPA approval.

Peruvian delegation visits the United States
The U.S. Rice Producers Association (USRPA) recently hosted a trade delegation from Peru’s National Rice Milling Association to gain a better understanding of the U.S. rice industry in their effort to prepare for the upcoming implementation of the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement. After several days in Texas, the group traveled to Arkansas and Mississippi to see farming, seed production, milling, barge loading and research operations.

Back on April 12, 2006, the United States and Peru signed the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, improving agricultural trade while attempting to level the playing field with U.S. competitors in the Peruvian market. At this time, less than two percent of U.S. ag exports have duty-free access to Peru, while under the Andean Trade Act over 99 percent of Peru’s agricultural exports enter the U.S. market duty free.

The United States obtained a 74,000 ton TRQ on a milled rice-equivalent basis with an annual compound growth rate of six percent. Milled, brown and rough rice can be imported under the TRQ. The out-of-quota tariff is capped at 52 percent and will begin to be phased out after an eight-year grace period and eliminated in 17 years.

However, the government of Peru, in an effort to control rising consumer prices has dropped import duties on rice and other food products for an undeclared period. Peru, as is the case with many countries around the world, is faced with alarming increases in consumer food prices and is struggling to control the situation.

Southerners receive AFBF’s Golden Plow award
The American Farm Bureau Federation recently honored U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and U.S. Representative Kenny Hulshof of Missouri with the Golden Plow Award, the highest honor AFBF presents to members of Congress.

Sen. Lincoln hails from a seventh generation Arkansas farm family and represents farm and rural interests in the Senate as a member of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

Representative Hulshof owns and operates a family farm in southeastern Missouri. He represents the interests of farmers and ranchers in his district, state and nationwide through his service on the House Ways and Means Committee, the House Budget Committee and his co-chairmanship of the House Biofuels Caucus.

California companies agree to offer ADVISOR system
CDMS, Inc. has announced an agreement with Britz Fertilizer, Inc. (BFI) for the enterprise-wide use of its ADVISOR system. ADVISOR is the next generation decision support system released by CDMS to facilitate crop protection and agronomic decisions in support of commodity destination requirements. BFI’s use of ADVISOR will include all crop protection consultants and PCA’s at each BFI location.

Britz is a full service California agricultural retailer and wholesaler of fertilizers, chemicals, seed, application and a wide variety of on-farm services. CDMS, Inc., headquartered in California, provides data, information, and decision support technologies to the agro-business and food industries.

For more information on ADVISOR and other agronomic services from CDMS call 800-237-2367 or visit www.cdms.net.

Louisiana Master Farmer Program field days planned
Because of the success of the Louisiana Master Farmer Program, the LSU AgCenter has scheduled a variety of model farm field tours this spring and summer for producers needing to complete the second phase of the program and learn about specific conservation practices.

The Louisiana Master Farmer program is an environmental education program designed to help farmers and ranchers identify and adopt best management practices.

• May 23, 9:00 a.m., Edgar Raymond, Oak Grove – cattle
• June 6, 9:00 a.m., Jeff Durand, St. Martinville – rice and crawfish operation
• July 8, 2:30 p.m., Kent Lounsberry, Lake Arthur, in conjunction with Vermilion Parish Rice School – rice and crawfish
• July 11, 9:00 a.m., Kenneth LaHaye, Ville Platte, in conjunction with RiceTec variety tour – rice and cattle
• July 18, 9:00 a.m., Jay Hardwick, Newellton – row crops
• July 24, TBA, Ronald Hebert, Jeanerette, in conjunction with the Iberia/St. Mary Sugarcane Field Day – sugarcane.