Developing Countries Will Lead Global Rice Import Growth in 2013-22, Says USDA Rice growers positive California MG prices are UP Russia MG Harvest coming to end Egypt open rice exports Vietnam’s rice export in tough competition with India Thai rice exports in May Rise Above Target This Year Viet-Nam Rice exports likely to fall this year
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Huge CA rice crop prompts dryers to impose quotas
California's rice crop is so big this year that delivery trucks have been lining up at rice drying facilities, forcing some dryers to place daily limits on the amount of rice they will accept from growers.

"We've already had some logistical problems with the trucks," said Sacramento County rice grower Paul Lowrey. "Trucks are in a pretty tight supply. At this very moment they're starting to loosen up a little bit. However, with the amount of rice going through the drying facilities, lines have been exceptionally long. Some dryers have had to shorten their receiving hours or go on quota because what happens is, when they get so much rice, they don't have time to get it dried and get it in the tempering bins and through storage. It takes a certain amount of time for a certain amount of rice and when you get too much, it just bogs down the whole system."
Some dryers have imposed a quotaof so many loads per day per grower. Other dryers, which typically receive rice between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., have been reducing their hours on either end.
"What that does is make the trucks tighter and it makes drivers mad because they're sitting in line for so long," Lowrey said. "But that's how they've handled the amount of incoming rice."
In addition, farmers are concerned that if their rice stays in the field too long, the grain moisture will decrease to the point that rice quality suffers.
"Given the marketing situations and the amount of rice, it looks like the value of this crop is not going to be real great," Lowrey said. "I think it may very possibly be a telltale year for some rice growers who are working on slim margins. It's just not pretty."
Steve Haskell, general manager of Sutter Basin Growers Cooperative in Knights Landing, said co-op members' average yields are about 7 percent higher than last year.
"There's a lot of rice out there," Haskell said. "It's going to test the drying and storage capacity in California."
Due to strong prices for the 2003 crop, Golden State growers planted "wall-to-wall" rice last spring, and some in the business predict that growers will produce a record crop.
"Every single day we're hearing of big yields, which indicates a big California rice crop this year," said Bill Huffman, vice president of communications at Farmers' Rice Cooperative in Sacramento. "Everything indicates that it's going to be a record California rice crop this year. We now believe that the total production will exceed 50 million hundredweights of rice and could go as high as 52 million cwt. That would be a record.
"It's going to take the best efforts of all California marketers to be able to move this crop at decent prices, given the size of the crop that's been produced," Huffman added.
The record rice crop was 43.5 million cwt. of rice in 2000, according to the California Agricultural Statistics Service.
For 2004, CASS has estimated that the state's growers will produce 47.4 million cwt. of rice, up from 38.6 million cwt. in 2003. CASS also predicts that California farmers will harvest 605,000 acres of rice this season, up from 507,000 acres harvested last year.
Some growers believe the acreage will be even higher.
"This is by far and away the largest crop that California's ever seen—probably close to 620,000 acres," said Colusa County rice grower Doug McGeoghegan.
MGR Archive 20.10.2004
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