What Impact is Harvey having on US Rice?
Rice farming in Texas can be traced back as far as the late 1600’s, when rice first came to Americas from Madagascar. Most Texas rice is grown along the Gulf Coast and along the Colorado River for irrigation purposes. Texas farmers count on the water from the Colorado River and the Highland Lakes for their crops which rank among the nation’s top 4th or 5th highest in rice production in the nation. In fact, Texas produces about 7% of the nation’s rice supply annually and accounts for $200 million of the state’s economy.
How much Rice was Damaged by Harvey?
According to reports from the US Rice Producers Association, 80% of the first rice crop was harvested and the remaining 20% was a total loss. Typically, a second harvest can be obtained from the rice planting; this could also be a total loss, leaving Texas rice farmers and associated businesses (such as the rice mills and trucking industry) in a difficult situation.
Texas rice is both consumed domestically and exported at about a 50-50 split. The rice is exported from the Port of Lake Charles and New Orleans, and also travels by rail to Mexico. Milled rice is also exported from the Port of Houston. All of these exports are expected to be impacted by Harvey.
Harvey has also spawned numerous brief tornadoes in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas, the nation’s leading rice producing states. Preliminary yields have been good until now and the race is on to accelerate their harvest schedules and before significant amount of lodging occurs. (Lodging is where the rice plant stems bend near the ground, leaving the plant essentially laying on the ground and making harvest tricky or impossible.)
Interra International – Quality Wholesale Rice Distribution
Interra International is well connected in the rice trade industry. With rice sources in the US, Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, India, Asia, and the EU, we are well positioned to find excellent sources and specialty rice options for our clients. We offer many packaging configurations and can streamline your wholesale rice acquisition and improve the overall supply chain process though our extensive partnerships.