ARLINGTON, VA-- Many in the rice industry are in the process of completing the National Agriculture Statistic Service's (NASS) monthly Rough Rice price questionnaire for March 2016. This questionnaire requests rough rice purchasers indicate the price paid at the first point of sale for each transaction this month. The results of the questionnaire are used to calculate Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments under the Farm Bill, so accuracy is critical to producers and the entire rice industry.
USA Rice's World Market Price Subcommittee has met frequently with NASS representatives to clearly understand NASS's expectations for rough rice price reporting and to communicate these expectations throughout the industry to ensure that rough rice prices are being reported correctly; that is, the price of rough rice at the first point of sale, not including transportation and other charges. As a result of these discussions, the subcommittee recommends that purchase contracts reflect separate freight and/or storage charges from the cost of the rough rice itself, for easier reporting in NASS's monthly questionnaires.
"If dried rough rice is purchased f.o.b. (free on board) from the farmer's grain bin, only the price of the rice should be reported. Any payment for storage or hauling should not be included in the reported rice price," said Keith Glover, chairman of the World Market Price Subcommittee and president and CEO of Producers Rice Mill. "The real challenge is when a buyer buys dried rough rice on a delivered mill, elevator or barge loading facility basis. Unless the buyer specifically identifies within the contract the amount of the total price being paid to the farmer for other services like hauling, the buyer has to report the total delivered price."
Under such a scenario, the average cash price reported to NASS would be overstated by the cost of hauling, thus resulting in a higher than otherwise national average cash price, which has the impact of reducing PLC payments to all U.S. farmers.
"For the sake of helping our farmers during these challenging times, it is extremely important that the most accurate average cash price possible for dried rough rice be reported each month to NASS," added Glover. "Any first hand buyer of rough rice from U.S. farmers that is not currently reporting average purchase prices on a monthly basis to USDA really needs to contact their state's NASS office in order to be added to the reporting list."
Contact information for these offices are as follows:
Arkansas Regional Field Office (serves AR, LA, MS)
Contact person: Ruben McCann or Terry Matthews
Phone number: 501-228-9926
California Regional Office
Contact person: Anthony Fischer or Jennifer Van Court
Phone number: 916-498-5161
Missouri Regional Field Office
Contact person: Matthew Henderson or Steve Maliszewski
Phone number: 314-595-9594
Texas Regional Field Office
Contact person: Kim Dapra or Betty Johnson
Phone number: 512-916-5581