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
Australia Medium Grain Rice #1 $ N/A    Egypt 101 #2 $760    Egypt 178 #2 Rice $730    EU Prices Baldo €660    EU Prices LG-A Ariete 5% €550    EU Prices MG Lotto 5% €500    EU Prices RG Balilla 5% €500    Russia Rapan $ 700    USA Jupiter Paddy $375    USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480    USA Jupiter Rice $630    USA Calrose #1 $830   

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CA Rice growers enjoying early start this year
Rice planting is off to an early start this year due to less rain.

Rice farmers were also able to take more time because of dry conditions and laser level their fields and use their tractors to prepare fields.

In some years -- such as last year -- late rains in the season meant growers had to cut corners on field preparation and hustle to get their seed in the ground.

Scott Wright and Mike Nichols both lease ground from the M&T Ranch west of Chico.

Nichols said last year growers couldn't get into the fields until May 1. This year they were a month ahead.

"The earlier you can get into the ground, the better you can complete the processes before planting," he said.

Also, if growers have more time, they can space their plantings out. That way the crop matures at different times, and then there is less stress at harvest time.

In some years there is such a rush to get the crop into the ground and then at harvest time there is a scramble to get it all harvested at once. This also translates to a bottleneck at processing plants since they can only handle so much commodity at a time.

Literally, in tough years, there might be trucks waiting in line to deliver the harvest.

Harvesting equipment runs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, so farmers can't just go out and buy more equipment if they need more harvesters at a certain time. If a farmer needs to plant quickly because of the weather, quality of rice could be lost when fields are also harvested quickly.

"Where you can get hurt is during harvest. If you have four fields at the same time, when one field is drier, you do lose quality," Nichols said.

He said the earlier you plant, the earlier the harvest, which means less "gambling" with late October weather patterns.

"There are so many risks with farming, you just don't get your hopes up," Nichols explained. "If you plant early you're risking that you might experience another cold snap. That puts the rice off to a slow start."

Nichols said the dry season this year helped him make the decision to plant a rice called M-401, which is a specialty medium grain rice. The type of rice takes 20-25 days longer to mature, so the early planting season led to this choice. He'll get a premium for the rice because it has larger kernels and is more attractive to buyers.

Wright also leases land from M&T Ranch. He stuck with the medium grain Calrose the overwhelming majority of people grow in the Sacramento Valley. It's a later-maturing rice variety. He sticks with the standard because it fits with his drying facility, just for ease of processing.

He agreed the weather this year was great for getting extra work done to the land, such as laser leveling.

"We had a really early start," he said.

His farm operation is still seeding, as are about half of the farms.

Although the shortage of rain has been nice for field preparation, it also means it takes a bit longer to flood the fields, as it takes longer for the water to penetrate.

Wright said the weather and more leisurely ability to plant has been nice. Unlike most years he has been able to take Sundays off to spend with his family.

The two rice farmers get water from the M&T Ranch, but most other rice farmers get water from irrigation districts.

Ted Trimble, manager of Western Canal Water District, said his growers are about 40 percent flooded, with the canal system working at maximum capacity. The waiting list this year has only been a few hours, whereas in some years growers might have had to wait about a day.

Irrigation is about a six-week process for the district, which gets water near the Afterbay at Lake Oroville.
MGR Archive 13.5.2007
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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