Sep 01, 2016
HORNERSVILLE, MO – Combines roared to life here this week as rice farmers took advantage of favorable weather to get harvest underway just as National Rice Month kicked off.
On Monday, USA Rice attended fundraisers in Kennett, Missouri hosted by the local rice and cotton industries in support of U.S. Representative Jason Smith (R-MO) and U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO). Both Missouri legislators were vocal in their opposition to federal regulatory overreach against agriculture and private landowners, and pledged to continue supporting the Bootheel’s farmers if reelected in November.
On Tuesday, USA Rice staff toured the Martin Rice Co, a family-owned rice mill in Bernie that joined the Rice Millers’ Association this summer. Owner and operator Mike Martin told USA Rice he is excited to become more involved in the organization, and has prioritized helping the industry lift the embargo with Cuba.
Blake Gerard, chairman of USA Rice Farmers, gave USA Rice staff a tour of his seed rice operation just over the Illinois border. Gerard anticipates beginning harvest next week, so is busily making field and machinery preparations, and hoping for dry weather.
On Wednesday, Hornersville’s Rance Daniels began his operation’s rice harvest and shared his optimism for the 2016 crop, “We began a little earlier than usual this year but we have been blessed with cooperative weather and as every farmer has probably learned at some point, you’ve got to take advantage of that.”
Daniels added, “Like most communities in the Bootheel, Hornersville is very agriculture-dependent and so it’s kind of a special time of year for my neighbors and me to begin putting rice in the bins again. And like most farms, harvest is something my whole family gets excited about and there’s really a job for all three generations of my family. My son can’t hardly wait to get home from school to chip in where he can and I think that says a lot.”
USA Rice is participating in other University of Missouri events this week sponsored by the Delta Fisher Research Center in Portageville, including the annual Skeet Shoot, Fish Fry, and Delta Dinner with state and local politicians, and agriculture industry representatives. USA Rice also will host a booth at the annual Field Day showcasing rice and other crop research held at the Research Center tomorrow.