USA Rice Merchants' Association

Representing Rough and Seed Rice Merchandisers and Associates

Founded in 2005, the USA Rice Merchants’ Association is the first organization to bring rice merchandisers and related businesses together in a representative, recognized body.  Merchants are an important component of the U.S. rice industry, providing a market outlet for thousands of farmers in all six rice-producing states.
USA Rice Merchants' Logo


There are currently 27 merchant members and 7 associate members. 

Board of Directors

•  Board members are elected from amongst the merchant members of the association.
•  Board meetings are held in conjunction with USA Rice Federation annual meetings.

Meet the Chairman


Dick Ottis
El Campo, TX

Dick Ottis was born and raised in Wadsworth, Texas, where his family started growing rice around 1915.  After college, Ottis moved to Ganado, Texas, and began his career with Rice Belt Warehouse, Inc. where he has served as president and CEO since 2005.  His involvement with USA Rice includes being chairman of the USA Rice Merchants’ Association as well as a board member of the USA Rice Board of Directors.  “U.S agriculture is constantly changing,” says Ottis.  “I am pleased that my work with USA Rice helps the U.S. rice industry stay on top of its game whether it’s legislation, regulatory issues, or marketing opportunities.”

Recent News

Turkey Reduces Rice Import Duties

Jan 10, 2018
Turkish pilaf - a fan favorite
 Tray full of Turkish-Pilaf held by a chef
ARLINGTON, VA -- In an effort to lower food price inflation the government of Turkey recently passed a law to reduce import duties on different types of rice.  The new import regime was published in the Turkish Trade Registry Gazette on December 31, 2017, and listed new import duties that will be applied on imported goods as of January 2018.

The new import regime lowers import duties for paddy rice from 34 percent to 5 percent; for brown rice from 36 percent to 10 percent; and for milled rice from 45 percent to 15 percent.

Food inflation in Turkey is caused by the large difference between producer and consumer prices, increased costs for agricultural producers due to devaluation of Turkish currency, and stockpiled goods that lead to high market prices.

The new import duties take effect immediately and last until July 1, 2018, at which point the previous duties will be re-applied.  The government also lowered duties on many other imported agricultural items, including meat, corn, beans, and walnuts.

Because Turkey has a zero-tolerance policy on GMOs, the tax reduction for milled rice opens opportunities for U.S. Southern medium grain rice.  The milling process reduces the risk of cross-contamination with GMO corn or GMO soy, which has stopped the import of Southern paddy medium grain in the past.