Jan 24, 2020
YUBA CITY, CA — More than one hundred growers from throughout the Sacramento Valley met here and in Colusa yesterday for the California Rice Commission’s annual meetings for industry updates. Growers heard from a variety of speakers representing their interests, based in both Washington and Sacramento.
State legislative advocates Louie Brown and Ann Grottviet covered 2020 projections for California politics and hot issues on the docket for the California legislature. Todd Manley, representing Northern California Water, explained the 2019 water situation across the state and new funding streams for the decades-long Sites Reservoir project that will provide irrigation security for growers in northern California.
Two speakers provided Washington-focused news, starting with The Russell Group’s Tyson Redpath who spoke of President Trump’s impeachment, U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) ratification, Congressional legislative calendar, and the presidential election timeline. USA Rice Vice President of International Trade Policy Peter Bachmann provided an update on U.S. rice trade and predictions for 2020.
“U.S.-grown rice scored several wins in 2019 with increased exports in some key long grain rice markets and a finalized country-specific quota for exports to Korea, but 2020 is already shaping up to be an even better year for the industry,” said Bachmann. “Commercial shipments to China are on the horizon, implementation of the USMCA is imminent, and we’re on the brink of upcoming negotiations with both the United Kingdom and Japan, presenting potential opportunities for our domestic industry to gain ground on the trade front this year.”
California Rice Commission Chair Sean Doherty said, “CRC’s winter grower meetings are perfect timing during the off-season to remind our membership what the Commission and our partners like USA Rice, The Russell Group, and others are doing for us year-round.”
Doherty added, “Water, state regulations, and trade are always top of mind for California’s growers and the updates are always well received. More importantly, these meetings give our growers the opportunity to ask questions in-person to the people that work for us every day in Sacramento and in Washington.”