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20th June, 2014

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TOP Contents - Tailored for YOU Latest News Headlines…                

House Agriculture Subcommittee Calls New NCRS Interpretive Rule into Question Agri Buzz : China Government Forecasts Bumper Grain Harvest In 2014-15 S. Korea leans toward opening up rice market Rice price hikes: No end seen Thailand's Rice Prices Rise As Migrant Worker Shortage Slows Exports NACC seeks Prayuth's support in rice probe California's rice production on the boil Sri Lanka to import rice to control escalating prices Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- June 20 Rice sown in 7.6 lakh hectare so far TABLE-Weekly update on India's summer crop planting Pusa rice tops ₹9,000/quintal Chopsticks Made From Rice Are the Perfect Pairing Rice and Ducks Take Center Stage at RMA Convention USA Rice's Ward (r) shares a light moment with USITC's Bonarriva Golden Rice and 'Super Bananas': A Grand Experiment in Delivering Vitamin A to the Poor

News Detail…

House Agriculture Subcommittee Calls New NCRS Interpretive Rule into Question Represetntative Rick Crawford WASHINGTON, DC - The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry Chairman Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-PA) held a hearing yesterday on the interpretive rule on the Clean Water Act introduced by USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NCRS).ubcommittee Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-MN) opened the hearing with remarks about the need for more certainty for farmers and the need to incentivize conservation.Among the witnesses called to testify was USDA

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Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie who maintained that compliance with the 56 conservation practices would remain voluntary. Representative Rick Crawford (R-AR) said, "The NCRS has been seen for many years as a body of technical knowledge and now it seems to be more of a regulatory body. It's very disappointing."The subcommittee also heard testimony from Don Parrish of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Chip Bowling of the National Corn Growers Association, Andy Fabin a producer from Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Scott Kovarovics of the Izaac Walton League of America. All expressed concern for whether conservation practices would even be possible for farmers and ranchers under this rule.The comment period is open for EPA's "Waters of the U.S." rule until October 20, 2014 and the comment period for the interpretive rule has been extended until July 07, 2014. Contact: Lydia Holmes, (703) 236-1450

Agri Buzz : China Government Forecasts Bumper Grain Harvest In 2014-15 Capital Markets 10:16:00, Jun 20, 2014 Higher winter wheat output allays concerns over food security this year.Higher output of winter wheat and early-season rice will bolster China's grain output self-sufficency and allay worries over food security this year, the China Ministry of Agriculture said.China harvested more than 20 million hectares of winter wheat crop this week, accounting for about 90 percent of the total winter wheat crop.Farm mechanization rates improved with 19,900 combine harvesters being used to harvest the wheat spread over an area of 18.87 million hectares, according to data provided by the farm mechanization department under the Ministry of Agriculture.

Officials from the agricultural departments of the major wheat-growing regions like Shandong and Henan also expressed confidence that winter wheat output this year would be higher than that of last year. The two provinces have so far harvested 3.74 million and 5.47 million ha of winter wheat.Hubei, another prime winter wheat-growing province, has purchased 1.3 million metric tons of wheat from local farmers, up 53 percent from a year earlier. The purchases were managed by China Grain Reserves Corp's Hubei branch and the local government.According to the Ministry of Agriculture, all the 11 major grain-growing provinces in China have all reported higher yields this month.

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Winter wheat in China is usually planted between September and November, and harvested in the summer or early autumn of the following year. The winter wheat crop accounts for more than 90 percent of China's total wheat output.Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Anhui and Henan collectively account for 70 percent of the total winter wheat production in China. Other major centers include Hubei, Shaanxi and Sichuan provinces.Wang Zhimin, a professor who specializes in wheat growing technology at the Beijing-based China Agricultural University, said the higher grain output comes despite inadequate snowfall and rain in the crop-growing regions. Better supplementary irrigation facilities and adequate temperature during the winter have ensured the smooth growth of wheat during the past five months, said Wang.China's total area under wheat cultivation has remained steady for the past five years at 24 million to 25 million ha. The country enlarged winter wheat production areas in the North China Plain and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region last year to ensure sufficient stocks of staple grains. Powered by Commodity Insights

S. Korea leans toward opening up rice market By Byun Duk-kun SEJONG/UIWANG, June 20 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean government appeared to be leaning toward liberalizing the country's rice market Friday, one day after the Philippines was given a five-year extension of a waiver to open its rice market but only at what officials here called a "huge cost."In the eighth and latest round of negotiations with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Philippines was given a five-year extension of the waiver that was originally set to expire at the end of June 2012. However, the Southeast Asian country may have paid too much for the extension that ends in 2017, government officials here said."Under the deal reached with WTO members, the Philippines has to increase the amount of its rice imports under the minimum market access (MMA) quota by 2.3 times to 805,000 tons per year from the current 350,000 tons," an official from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said. "There is also an extra cost it has to pay as the country had to reach separate bilateral deals with seven WTO member countries that took part in the negotiations," the official said, adding details of the bilateral deals will not be disclosed.Officials here noted the Philippine case shows what South Korea can expect if it, too, decides to seek another waiver on market liberalization.South Korea was allowed to delay its rice market liberalization for 10 years under a 1993 agreement with the WTO, in which the country agreed to increase its MMA import quota by 20,000 tons per year. The agreement, extended once by 10 years in 2004, is set to expire at the end of this year."It took two years and seven failed attempts for the Philippines to win a waiver that will expire in just three years from now while the country had to more than double its import quota," an official from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said, asking not to be identified.

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At a public hearing in Uiwang, south of Seoul, later in the day, Deputy Agriculture Minister Lee Joon-won said the Philippine case should be a lesson for South Korea."They say wise men learn from the experience of others. In that sense, the experience of the Philippines and Japan should be a good example (for South Korea)," he said at the event organized to hear views on rice market liberalization from farmer groups and agricultural experts.Japan liberalized its rice market in 1999, two years before it was required to do so under its own agreement with the WTO.Sohn Jae-beom, an official from the Korean Advanced Farmers Federation, agreed that the outcome of the Philippines' negotiations with the WTO should tell South Korea to rather follow the footsteps of Japan. "The first lesson from the Philippine case is that there is no such thing as a free lunch," he told the hearing.Sohn noted the cost of delaying market liberalization will be far greater for South Korea should the country decide to seek a similar deal with the WTO."South Korea's MMA imports already account for about 9 percent of its total consumption. If we follow the footsteps of the Philippines and agree to increase our mandatory import quota by 2.3 times, the country will have to import up to 20 percent of its total consumption," he said, adding the Philippines' rice imports will account for less than 7 percent of the country's total consumption even after it increases its imports.An official from a more radical farmers' organization, Junnong, flatly dismissed the argument, claiming the country can still seek a standstill."The government is only talking about the outcome of the Philippines' negotiations without saying what we are going to do. The government must first seek to negotiate a standstill agreement," Junnong official Park Hyeong-dae said. In 2012, South Korea spent over 300 billion won (US$294 million) to import about 360,000 tons of rice under its MMA quota, according to the agriculture ministry. Its import quota for this year has reached 408,000 tons, and the amount will permanently remain fixed even if it decides to open up its rice market next year."The country has to spend about 350 billion won this year just to purchase its MMA quota and an additional 50 billion won to ship and store the imported rice," an official from the agriculture ministry said.The government has said it will have its final decision on rice market liberalization before the end of this month. If the country decides to open up its market, it has to notify the WTO of its decision before the end of September, mainly to allow for enough time for negotiations over its import tariffs. <All rights reserved by Yonhap News Agency>

Rice price hikes: No end seen Staple to cost up to P45 per kg as palay sold at higher rates 12:12 am | Saturday, June 21st, 2014 SAN JOSE CITY—Millers have been buying husked rice (palay) from traders at P26 per kilogram, which may push the prices of commercial rice in the market even higher in the coming months.“P26 had been the buying price offered by the traders. We are forced to buy (the palay at that price) otherwise we will run short of supply for our clients,” said Edgardo Alfonso, president of the 26-member San Jose City Rice Millers

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Association.The traders, whose number surged during the peak of the harvest season from March to April, competed with rice millers in buying newly harvested grains, Alfonso said, adding that they are now selling the rice back to the millers after keeping the stocks for weeks.The fresh palay harvest was bought at a farm-gate price of P19 to P21 a kg. In past harvest seasons, the buying price for the grains was P14 to P15 a kg. “We were caught by surprise by the high buying price of palay that prevailed during the last harvest season,” Alfonso told the Inquirer.He said the rice millers here bought only 70 percent of palay during the harvest season for their milling needs. The milled rice will have a high selling price because of the steep buying price of palay, he said.“The P2 per kilogram price hike of rice now was the result of that (increased palay cost),” he said.

At the current P26 per kilogram price, the wholesale selling price of rice may increase from P39 to P45 a kg for premium commercial rice.“Based on that simple computation, we will have an idea how much the selling price of commercial rice would be during the lean months,” Alfonso said.Rice millers here supply about 30,000 bags of milled rice daily to their clients in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog provinces and Cebu.In Laoag City, the Ilocos Norte garlic growers and processors announced they would expand their garlic plantations from 2,000 to 3,000 hectares.Mergie Selga, president of the group of local garlic growers and processors, said she believed the high price of garlic in the market was due to low supply. Selga said garlic growers sold their remaining stocks when prices went up to a high of P260 a kilogram in Ilocos region and P300 a kilogram in Metro Manila.Following a meeting of the National Garlic Action Team, she said the group may welcome garlic importation in July to augment supply.Anselmo Roque, Inquirer Central Luzon; and Leilanie Adriano, Inquirer Northern Luzon

Thailand's Rice Prices Rise As Migrant Worker Shortage Slows Exports By Michelle FlorCruz@mflorcruz on June 19 2014 2:59 PM

Though Thailand‟s coup d'etat has been relatively calm and largely successful in terms of maintaining social order, it's had a profoundly harmful

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Wednesday that severe worker shortages will cause delays in rice export shipments of up to three weeks. A significant portion of Thailand‟s migrant worker population from neighboring countries like Cambodia and Myanmar are involved in the grain export industry, and they represent a large majority of the workforce at rice

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warehouses. The loading rate has slowed significantly, down to about 300 tons of rice a day, compared with the usual shipments of 1,500 tons a day, the shipping director for Thailand‟s Chaiyaporn Group said.The association‟s honorary president, Chookiat Ophaswongse, told Bloomberg that as many as 70 percent of the workers involved in the export of rice shipments had left the country as a result of the Thai military seizing power. Political turmoil has sown fear among Thailand‟s migrant population, causing concerns about crackdowns on illegal labor and political alliances to flourish. “The source of the exodus appears to be politically motivated rumors either by ultra-nationalist coup hardliners trying to rile neighboring Cambodia -- long seen as a haven of support for [ousted] Thaksin -- or by pro-Thaksin forces in Phnom Penh trying to stir the cauldron in Thailand to undermine the junta,” Christian Lewis, a Southeast Asia researcher for risk consultancy The Eurasia Group, said via email.According to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, Thailand is expected to account for 22 percent of all global rice exports this year, which would make it the world's second-largest rice exporter, after Vietnam. The worker shortage has restricted supplies and boosted prices in the near term to a three-month high, Chookiat said. The price of Thai 5-percent broken white rice, a common benchmark for Asian rice prices, rose by 1.5 percent for a third week yesterday, to $398 per ton.As a prominent rice producer, Thailand's delays could jeopardize the food supplies of several other countries, including longtime importers in Africa, like Nigeria, South Africa and the Ivory Coast. As a result, these importers could potentially look elsewhere to fulfill their needs, allowing nearby competing markets to usurp Thailand‟s dominance.“Nigeria is historically the largest importer of Thai rice, but substitute high-quality exports from India and Vietnam will plug gaps in global supply, and Myanmar may be able to contribute to [the] supply of lower-grade grains,” Lewis said. Photo: Villagers play in the mud during the rocket festival known as "Bun Bangfai" in Yasothon, northeast of Bangkok, May 13, 2012. Thailand has plenty of rice to export. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

NACC seeks Prayuth's support in rice probe June 20, 2014 4:30 pm

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The National Anti-Corruption Commission Friday met junta chief Gen Prayuth Chan-oacha to seek his support for graft probe in the rice-pledging scheme, deputy spokesman of the junta said. Col Winthai Suvari, a deputy spokesman of the National Council for Peace and Order, said NACC chairman Parnthep Klanarongran led other NACC members to meet Prayuth to seek his support in the on-going probe against irregularities in the rice scheme.Winthai said the NACC chairman and members also informed Prayuth how the NACC would undergo a restructuring.The junta chief was also informed of the NACC's strategies for its works until the 2017 fiscal year. The Nation

California's rice production on the boil NSW Country Hour By Laurissa Smith Updated Fri 20 Jun 2014, 10:59am AEST PHOTO: California, the US state which specialises in medium grain rice, has seen a decline in the area planted to the crop because of cuts to water allocations.(California Rice Commission) Rice growers in south-west New South Wales are all too familiar with how drought bites a community. In the past, severe cuts to water allocations have forced growers to slash rice production.Now it's California's turn.Australia's major competitor in medium grain rice, has been feeling the water shortage pinch, for the second year in a row.It's estimated about 40,000 hectares has been taken out of rice production in the Sacramento Valley this season, an area that last year produced around 230,000 hectares.Steve Butler, is president of the Sutter Mutual Water Company and a large rice grower north of Robbins, along the Sacramento River.With water allocations cut by 25 per cent, he's planted two thirds of his 1,600 hectare property to rice.He says it's not surprising this year the third largest crop in his irrigation district is fallowed ground."In the past we've had cutbacks such as this, but we've never actually had to fallow so many acres of ground."So it's difficult for us to look at the changes in our water supply, which have been this low before, but because of increased urban demand, increased environmental dedication, it's made our share of the pie, a little smaller.

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"According to the US Department of Agriculture, the country's combined medium and short-grain production in 2014/15, will drop by 10 per cent to 52 million tonnes.While a decline in Californian medium grain rice production might stimulate an increase in returns to growers, Steve Butler says it could backfire."If either of our country's rice prices are too high, there's a giant pile of Thai rice out there, India's exports keep going up and other markets around the world could utilise that rice."Especially if they can purchase it 20 per cent less than Calrose is bringing in."That's the case right now."He says rain is desperately needed, but it won't solve all of California's water problems."What our urban areas have done is essentially drawn upon agriculture's supply of water as their emergency supply. "So the mandates we've faced for reduced allocations of water are not going to be relieved until, not only we have good flows in the rivers again, but they also want to see substantial amounts of storage in the reservoirs."I am concerned that, even with a normal or slightly above normal rainfall year this coming fall and winter, we still may be faced with a reduced allocation next spring." Topics: rice, united-states, wagga-wagga-2650

Sri Lanka to import rice to control escalating prices Fri, Jun 20, 2014, 12:09 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka. June 20, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has decided to import 100,000 metric tons of rice to control the escalating price of Sri Lankan's staple food.The import of rice is to be carried out immediately and the stocks will be distributed through island wide supermarkets of Lanka Sathosa, the state-owned wholesale and retail grocery network under the instructions of Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando.The Minister said that the Consumer Affairs Authority had received a number of complaints against the rice mill owners and wholesalers over hiding processed and unprocessed rice stocks.The Minister said that stern actions are underway against them.Sri Lanka provides subsidies to rice farmers and the country is usually self-sufficient in rice. However, the recent prolonged drought and subsequent floods have damaged the crops, the Minister stated.

Nagpur Foodgrain Prices Open- June 20 Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:02pm IST Nagpur, June 20 (Reuters) - Gram and moong prices in Nagpur Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) declined sharply here on poor demand from local millers amid poor quality arrival. Monsoon arrival reports in Vidarbha, fresh fall on NCDEX, downward trend in Madhya Pradesh pulses and release of stock from stockists also pushed down prices, according to sources.

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FOODGRAINS & PULSES GRAM * Gram varieties ruled steady here on subdued demand from local traders amid good supply from producing belts. TUAR * Tuar gavarani recovered in open market on renewed seasonal demand from local traders amid thin supply from producing regions. * Watana green quoted weak in open market on poor demand from local traders amid release of stock from stockists. * In Akola, Tuar - 3,800-4,100, Tuar dal - 5,700-6,000, Udid at 6,500-6,800, Udid Mogar (clean) - 7,600-8,100, Moong - 7,200-7,600, Moong Mogar (clean) 8,600-9,300, Gram - 2,000-2,200, Gram Super best bold - 3,000-3,300 for 100 kg. * Wheat, rice and other commodities remained steady in open market in thin trading activity, according to sources. Nagpur foodgrains APMC auction/open-market prices in rupees for 100 kg FOODGRAINS Available prices Previous close Gram Auction 2,090-2,415 2,130-2,460 Gram Pink Auction n.a. 2,100-2,600 Tuar Auction n.a. 3,800-4,100 Moong Auction 4,400-4,700 4,600-5,000 Udid Auction n.a. 4,300-4,500 Masoor Auction n.a. 2,600-2,800 Gram Super Best Bold 3,500-3,600 3,500-3,600 Gram Super Best n.a. Gram Medium Best 3,100-3,300 3,100-3,300 Gram Dal Medium n.a. n.a. Gram Mill Quality 2,800-2,900 2,800-2,900 Desi gram Raw 2,400-2,700 2,400-2,700 Gram Filter new 2,900-3,100 2,900-3,100 Gram Kabuli 8,000-10,000 8,000-10,000 Gram Pink 7,300-7,900 7,300-7,900 Tuar Fataka Best 6,100-6,400 6,100-6,400 Tuar Fataka Medium 5,900-6,100 5,900-6,100 Tuar Dal Best Phod 5,500-5,700 5,500-5,700 Tuar Dal Medium phod 5,100-5,400 5,100-5,400 Tuar Gavarani 4,200-4,300 4,150-4,250 Tuar Karnataka 4,000-4,100 4,000-4,100

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Tuar Black 7,400-7,700 7,400-7,700 Masoor dal best 6,000-6,200 6,000-6,200 Masoor dal medium 5,800-6,000 5,800-6,000 Masoor n.a. n.a. Moong Mogar bold 8,800-9,500 8,800-9,500 Moong Mogar Medium best 8,200-8,600 8,200-8,600 Moong dal super best 7,600-8,000 7,600-8,000 Moong dal Chilka 7,700-8,300 7,700-8,300 Moong Mill quality n.a. n.a. Moong Chamki best 7,800-9,000 7,800-9,000 Udid Mogar Super best (100 INR/KG) 8,200-8,500 8,200-8,500 Udid Mogar Medium (100 INR/KG) 6,800-7,600 6,800-7,600 Udid Dal Black (100 INR/KG) 5,700-6,000 5,700-6,000 Batri dal (100 INR/KG) 3,800-4,800 3,800-4,800 Lakhodi dal (100 INR/kg) 2,900-3,000 2,900-3,000 Watana Dal (100 INR/KG) 3,350-3,450 3,350-3,450 Watana White (100 INR/KG) 3,700-3,800 3,700-3,800 Watana Green Best (100 INR/KG) 5,100-5,700 5,200-5,800 Wheat 308 (100 INR/KG) 1,200-1,500 1,200-1,500 Wheat Mill quality(100 INR/KG) 1,500-1,600 1,500-1,600 Wheat Filter (100 INR/KG) 1,200-1,400 1,200-1,400 Wheat Lokwan best (100 INR/KG) 1,900-2,200 1,900-2,200 Wheat Lokwan medium (100 INR/KG) 1,600-1,800 1,600-1,800 Lokwan Hath Binar (100 INR/KG) n.a. n.a. MP Sharbati Best (100 INR/KG) 2,500-3,200 2,500-3,200 MP Sharbati Medium (100 INR/KG) 2,000-2,400 2,000-2,400 Wheat 147 (100 INR/KG) 1,100-1,300 1,100-1,300 Wheat Best (100 INR/KG) 1,500-1,800 1,500-1,800 Rice BPT (100 INR/KG) 2,900-3,200 2,900-3,200 Rice Parmal (100 INR/KG) 1,600-1,800 1,600-1,800 Rice Swarna old (100 INR/KG) 2,700-2,900 2,600-2,800 Rice HMT (100 INR/KG) 3,800-4,200 3,800-4,200 Rice HMT Shriram (100 INR/KG) 4,400-5,200 4,400-5,200 Rice Basmati best (100 INR/KG) 10,400-13,900 10,400-13,900 Rice Basmati Medium (100 INR/KG) 7,300-10,000 7,300-10,500 Rice Chinnor (100 INR/KG) 4,800-5,400 4,800-5,400 Jowar Gavarani (100 INR/KG) 1,300-1,500 1,300-1,500 Jowar CH-5 (100 INR/KG) 1,600-1,700 1,600-1,700 WEATHER (NAGPUR) Maximum temp. 35.5 degree Celsius (95.4 degree Fahrenheit), minimum temp. 25.9 degree Celsius (78.6 degree Fahrenheit) Humidity: Highest - n.a., lowest - n.a. Rainfall : nil FORECAST: Partly cloudy sky. Rains or thunder-showers likely towards evening or night. Maximum and Minimum temperature likely to be around 39 and 26 degree Celsius respectively.

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Note: n.a.--not available (For oils, transport costs are excluded from plant delivery prices, but included in market prices.)

Rice sown in 7.6 lakh hectare so far Press Trust of India | New Delhi June 20, 2014 Last Updated at 19:39 IST

With the onset of monsoon, sowing of kharif (summer) crops has commenced in most parts of the country and farmers have sown rice in 7.59 lakh hectare so far this month, according to the Agriculture Ministry. Sowing of kharif crops begins with the onset of southwest monsoon in June, while the harvesting starts from October. "Preliminary reports of sowing of kharif crops have been received from States. Kharif sowing area has crossed 95 lakh hectare," Agriculture Ministry said in a statement. As of today, rice - the main kharif crop - has been sown/ transplanted in 7.59 lakh hectare, pulses in 2.60 lakh hectare, oilseeds in 1.23 lakh hectare and coarse cereals in 12.29 lakh hectare.

The planting of commercial crops, sugarcane and cotton, is in progress. Sugarcane has been planted in 43.92 lakh hectare, while cotton in 20 lakh hectare. The ministry, however, did not give the comparable figures on sowing. Amid chances of subnormal monsoon this year, as projected by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the ministry has advised state governments to be ready with contingency plans to minimise impact of erratic rains. It is also working on certain relief measures such as providing subsidy to buy seeds for resowing and on diesel for irrigation to protect the standing crops.

TABLE-Weekly update on India's summer crop planting Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:43pm IST Sept 27 (Reuters) - Indian farmers have planted 5.3 percent more land than last year with crops so far during this year'smonsoon, which had much heavier than average rains in the firsthalf and 5 percent above average downpours in the season so far. India's heavy monsoon will hasten its retreat next week as the June to September season rainy ends, with any patches ofheavier rain tempting farmers to plant winter crops early. Plantations of winter crops such as wheat and rapeseed will start from October.

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Grains output this summer for one of the world's biggest consumers and producers is forecast to be near an alltime high,leaving plenty for exports and helping to boost growth and trim inflation ahead of May elections. For a table on the summer crop estimates, Farmers planted more acreage of all major summer-sown crops than last year with the exception of cane and cotton in theperiod from June 1 to Sept. 26, government data showed on Friday. The area planted with rice, the main food crop of the world's second-most populous country, is higher than last year, but below its seasonal average as some growing states in the eastern region such as Jharkhand and Bihar received poor rains. For sugar, the area planted is lower than last year as growing regions of the south and west continue to feel the effects of last year's drought. But this year's coverage wasmore than normal for this time of the season. Cotton has been planted on less acreage than last year as some areas in the western state of Rajasthan shifted to guar as farmers expect better returns. Some cotton acreage has also been diverted to pulses and cereals in rain-fed areas. India's summer sowing season is over as many early planted crop varieties such as soybean have even started arriving in markets. The table below gives the area sown with various crops in the period from June 1 to Sept. 26 against the same period a year earlier, in million hectares. Normal or average area for the total JuneSeptember summer season and normal areas from June 1 to this week are also in million hectares. All figures are provisional and subject to revision as updates arrive with the progress of the June-September monsoon season. -----------------------------------------CROP Normal Area 2013 2012 #Season Week -----------------------------------------* Rice 39.21 36.11 37.65 36.89 * Cereals 21.30 19.74 19.58 17.59 - Corn 7.15 7.30 8.21 7.40 * Pulses 11.01 10.45 10.92 9.98 -Tur 3.70 3.77 4.04 3.66 -Urd 2.31 2.28 2.56 2.38 * Oilseed 17.92 17.59 19.40 17.47 -Soybean 9.57 9.92 12.22 10.69 -Groundnut 4.90 4.55 4.31 3.88 * Cane 4.71 4.65 4.87 5.01 * Cotton 11.75 11.42 11.44 11.60 ------------------------------------------Source: Agriculture Ministry #June-September (Compiled by Ratnajyoti Dutta in New Delhi; Editing by Anand

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Pusa rice tops ₹9,000/quintal KARNAL, JUNE 19:

The rice market was mixed on Thursday. While prices of Pusa 1121 and PR varieties improved on fresh buying, Sharbati varieties dropped on slack demand.Amit Kumar, proprietor of Ginni Rice, told Business Line that marginal change in Pusa-1121 varieties‟ price was expected but further uptrend was not anticipated. It has again crossed the levels of 9,000 and any major uptrend from here is unlikely. Some fresh buying pushed PR varieties up too, he added.“Traders expect the market to rule around current levels over the next few days without any major fluctuation. In spite of recent uptrend, market sentiments are still not positive,” said Amit Kumar. In the physical market, Pusa-1121 (steam) improved further by ₹150 and sold at ₹9,000-9,100, while Pusa-1121 (sela) quoted at ₹7,250-7,300 a quintal, up ₹200. Pure Basmati (raw) quoted at ₹12,000. Duplicate basmati (steam) sold at ₹7,000. Pusa-1121 (second wand) was at ₹6,700, Tibar at ₹5,800 while Dubar at ₹5,000 a quintal. In the non-basmati section, Sharbati (steam) dropped by ₹300 to ₹4,000 while Sharbati (sela) quoted at ₹3,800 a quintal, ₹200 down. PR varieties improved by ₹100-250 a quintal. Permal (raw) was at ₹2,250-2,300, Permal (sela) at ₹2,400, PR-11 (sela) sold at ₹2,500 while PR-11 (raw) at ₹2,600 . PR14 (steam) sold at ₹2,800 a quintal. (This article was published on June 19, 2014)

Chopsticks Made From Rice Are the Perfect Pairing XPAND It's estimated that over 130 million wooden chopsticks are produced every day, and most are destined to end up in the trash after just one use. Sure, wood breaks down a lot better than plastic, but a couple of engineers from Barcelona have a better idea. They're producing chopsticks made from rice husks—an unwanted by-product of rice production.You can already buy re-usable chopsticks made from materials like ceramic or plastic, but they just don't have the same feel and texture as wooden ones do. And that's what inspired the creation of a new composite material known as Solit Riceit which is made from eco-friendly polymers and rice husks, but still has the same look and feel of wood. EXPAND

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Not only are the Solit Riceit chopsticks an allaround better alternative to ones made from materials like bamboo, their design has also been improved with a removable endcap that holds the chopsticks together when not in use, but doubles as a rest while you're eating.You unfortunately can't buy the Solit Riceit chopsticks just yet, but a pledge of $28 on its Kickstarter campaign will reserve you a set of eightâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;assuming its creators reach their funding goal and things go smoothly during production. In other words, the usual caveats of a crowdfunded product apply here. But if it succeeds, it seems like a less guilty alternative to the wooden set you snap apart every time you have sushi for lunch. [Kickstarter - Solit-RiceIt viaInventorSpot]

Rice and Ducks Take Center Stage at RMA Convention Al Montna and Betsy Ward Duck and Rice Advocates Al Montna (l) and Betsy Ward LAKE TAHOE, NV - Earlier today, USA Rice President and CEO Betsy Ward and California producer Al Montna provided a program update to RMA Convention attendees on the USA Rice - Ducks Unlimited Stewardship Partnership.Ward explained the partnership was formed in 2013 so the groups could pool energy and resources and work collaboratively to conserve three critical natural and economic resources that are common to both groups: working rice lands, water, and waterfowl. Montna, who also chairs the USA Rice-Ducks Unlimited Conservation Stewardship Task Group, spoke of the many successes the partnership has achieved in a relatively short time."We commissioned a major study to scientifically demonstrate the very real and positive link between rice and ducks and other waterfowl," he said. "A DU research team, led by Dr. Mark Petrie, showed the overlap of rice lands and waterfowl habitat in the California Central Valley, the Mississippi Alluvial Valley,Press Conference May 2014 Press Conference on Rice and Ducks and the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast and put a price tag on how important working rice lands are for the birds."

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Montna added that the study is so important, and was so well done, the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Jason Weller, asked to be a part of the study's unveiling at a press conference at USDA headquarters earlier this year. "Our partnership with Ducks Unlimited is vitally important as all segments of our industry work together to ensure working rice lands remain working rice lands," said Ward.

Contact: Michael Klein, (703) 236-1458 International Trade Commission Tells RMA Convention: 'Five-Year Rice Study is Underway' Bonarriva and Ward

USA Rice's Ward (r) shares a light moment with USITC's Bonarriva LAKE TAHOE, NV - Earlier this week, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) announced that it has started a major assessment of competitive factors impacting the U.S. rice industry. This morning, ITC Lead International Trade Analyst Joanna Bonarriva gave attendees at the USA Rice Millers' Association (RMA) Convention an overview of the assessment process, including a timeline of events. Bonarriva explained that the USITC is an independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial agency that provides the President and Congress with research and analysis on international trade but does not make policy or negotiate trade agreements. She said USITC assessments follow a strict procedure starting with a review of relevant literature, followed by a public hearing in Washington, DC, and then, depending on the data collected, use of economic modeling or other statistical methods. The USITC also does outreach, visiting domestic and international industries, and conducting interviews with both U.S. and foreign government sources as well as industry representatives, including individual firms, trade associations, marketers, exporters, and importers. For the rice industry assessment, Bonarriva said USITC plans to visit production facilities in Arkansas, attend the Outlook Conference in December, and travel to India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia to complete the international fieldwork.

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The final report, due to the House Ways & Means Committee on April 14, 2015, will be a comparison of the competitive strengths and weaknesses of rice production and exports in the United States and other major exporting countries. Committee members will get a comprehensive look at factors such as producer revenue and costs of production, industry structure, input prices and availability, processing technology, product innovation, exchange rates, pricing, and marketing regimes, as well as government policies and programs that directly or indirectly affect rice production and exporting. "Subsidies to foreign producers by their governments are behind substantial competition in traditional U.S. markets," said Mark Denman, chairman of the USA Rice Federation. "Ms. Bonarriva's presentation today couldn't have been timelier, getting our members up-to-speed on all the details of the assessment process. We look forward to the USITC investigation to provide information that the rice industry can use to educate the administration and Congress. ""I'm pleased this investigation is finally getting underway, and must acknowledge the support we received from leaders in Congress such as Representative Charles Boustany (R-LA)," said Betsy Ward, USA Rice's president and CEO. "It should be noted that during the course of this investigation, the USITC will contact USA Rice members for information. I can't urge strongly enough - if they ask for your input, please provide it in a timely manner." Ward added that the industry plans on hosting USITC representatives at rice field days this summer as another means of showing investigators how the U.S. industry works. Contact: Deborah Willenborg, (703) 236-1444

Golden Rice and 'Super Bananas': A Grand Experiment in Delivering Vitamin A to the Poor Written by Julia Haskins Published on June 19, 2014

Rice and bananas genetically enriched with beta-carotene to fight malnutrition are either a plague or a panacea, depending on who you ask.As it turns out, even vitamin-rich fruits like bananas have the potential to be more nourishing. Scientists are working to enhance already nutritious foods as part of major global health initiatives, spurring discussion about the role of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in our diets. Engineered food has long been a source of controversy and misconception, but the prospects for these modified products have scientists and humanitarians excited for the innovations to come.Among the newest advances in

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GMO technology are beta-carotene-infused Golden Rice and "super" bananas. People who are malnourished could greatly benefit from the addition of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, to prevent childhood blindness and even death from vitamin deficiency. The bananas will soon be tested on human study subjects in the U.S.Three food and nutrition experts sounded off on the risks and benefits of GMOs and the ethics of providing these foods to children in developing countries. Are GMOs Safe?

GMOs might seem like a futuristic concept, but as many proponents stress, the practice of engineering food has been around for centuries. What we know as GMOs are built on human interaction with crops dating further back than even Gregor Mendel‟s famous experiments with cross-breeding pea plants in the 1800s.“Modern technology has refined what we‟ve been doing for 10,000 years,” said Alan McHughen, Ph.D., a biotechnologist and geneticist in the department of botany and plant sciences at the University of California, Riverside. “Nothing we eat is the same as what Mother Nature made.” But clearly, the technology has become far more advanced, raising questions about the safety profile of these foods. Even the experts don‟t agree on the benefits of certain kinds of food engineering, especially to add nutrients. Learn More: What 'Organic' Really Means » Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj, Medical Director of the South Florida Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant Institute, is especially concerned with how these extra nutrients will interact with the collection of helpful bacteria in the human gut called the gut microbiome. Maharaj worries about the immune system‟s reaction to these nutrientenhanced foods.“We don‟t know ... how modifying the food would affect the microbiome,” Maharaj said. He believes that these GMOs could be superfluous when “the microbiome actually produces the nutrients that are needed for healthy living.” What's the Best Way to Deliver Nutrients? Rebecca Solomon, a certified dietitian and nutritionist and Director of Clinical Nutrition at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, advocates for untouched crops and conventional vitamin supplements.“Good oldfashioned vitamin/mineral supplementation would be better and safer than genetic modification of crops, if the

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food sources of the nutrients themselves cannot be obtained,” which, she said, would be the best way to improve people's diets. Find Out Where to Get Omega-3 Fatty Acids » The fact that these GMO experiments are geared toward people in impoverished countries with limited access to nutrient-rich food raises its own set of questions about the ethics of engineered food experiments.“Because we can‟t possibly know about the long-term consequences and health risks of GM crops, using „poor countries‟ as human subjects to study the efficacy of GMOs helping to reduce malnutrition is clearly an ethical problem,” Solomon said. On the flip side, McHughen views not exploring the benefits of GMOs as the real moral failure, by giving up the opportunity to nourish people and to solve problems like vitamin A deficiency blindness. He also notes that the decision to eat GMOs is voluntary for participants in these studies. However, in one Chinese trial of Golden Rice, three officials were fired for failing to disclose that subjects were consuming genetically modified rice, highlighting the need for transparency in GMO studies. The Takeaway GMOs aren‟t to be feared, but rather, to be continuously researched. There is still dissent among food and nutrition experts, but one point they agree on is the need for consumers to educate themselves about the effects of GMOs, especially as these products make their way into local supermarkets. “It disturbs me greatly that people are getting these misconceptions not only about GMOs, but food in general,” McHughen said. “If only our society knew more about how food was produced in the first place I think we would overcome those deficiencies.”

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20th june,2014 daily global rice e newsletter by riceplus magazine