Before looking to the future, it’s always interesting to take a look back at the past to determine what can be learned, what has changed or, perhaps, what has stayed the same. In this issue of Rice Farming, our Extension rice specialists review the 2009 crop from the production angle. Much of what they discuss, you may remember reading in a magazine or newspaper, watching on the evening news or gleaning from the Internet.
They have been gracious enough to take the “production headlines” from 2009 and compile them into a summary, which should prove helpful to you as you plan for the 2010 growing season.
But what else happened this past year that made dramatic headlines and may have had an effect on the rice industry?
Last December, citizens of the United States had just elected a new President, and the 111th Congress was about to convene in January, which meant anxious times for everyone, including the rice industry.
In that issue of Rice Farming, Reece Langley, VP, Government Affairs, USA Rice Federation, wrote “Plowing new ground or back to the future?” in which he discussed “three big ticket items that could potentially affect U.S. farmers and ranchers in the future: budget cuts, a trade deal and costly new environmental regulations.”
And what has been one of the most dramatic headlines in 2009 – the economic crisis – was addressed by Thomas Wynn, Director of Market Development, USRPA, in the January issue: “How the economic crisis affects the rice industry.” Wynn noted in closing his column almost a year ago, “The global situation has had many effects on the global marketplace, and the rice world is no exception. In some cases, it has been good for the market, while in others it has not been so kind. At the bottom line, however, the net effect should be positive.”
As you can ascertain just from these two short excerpts from last season’s columns, politics, as well as production practices, affect the industry and each individual producer. If you have a little spare time this winter, go to our Web site – www.ricefarming.com – and look back at the archived issues from last year.
It’s fun to review the past and compare it to the present to see what progress has happened – or not happened – over the course of the year. That’s the stuff of which the future is made.
Send your comments to: Editor, Rice Farming Magazine, 5118 Park Ave., Suite 111, Memphis, Tenn., 38117. Call (901) 767-4020 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.