Aug 11, 2017
JONESBORO, AR -- The farm of Mark and Belinda Wimpy was the scene yesterday for Horizon Ag’s Arkansas field day. Speakers provided research and market updates to the crowd of approximately 100 growers, eagerly awaiting updates on the new release of the Provisia™ rice system.
“Provisia™, the new companion technology to the Clearfield rice technology will work to prolong the Clearfield technology,” said Sunny Bottoms, senior technical service representative for Horizon Ag. “The first varietal release in the 2018 season with the Provisia™ Rice herbicide resistant technology will be PVL01, currently in seed production this year. This will be a limited release, with a full release expected for 2019.”
USA Rice COO Bob Cummings gave an overview of key trade priorities, including next steps with China now that the U.S. and China have signed a protocol to allow U.S. rice exports to China.
“Half the U.S. rice crop is exported, so we constantly need to look for new markets and preserve those that we have,” said Cummings. “We are working very closely with U.S. exporters and USDA to make the first shipments of rice to China a reality now that the phytosanitary protocol has been signed. That means arranging and supporting a visit of Chinese inspectors to rice country in the Mid-South and California. China is the world’s largest consumer and importer of rice and we hope to be shipping early in 2018 if things go smoothly.”
Cummings also stressed the importance of preserving the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, for the economic health of the U.S. rice industry.
“Mexico is the number one market for U.S. rice, and this success is a direct result of NAFTA,” he said. “Our message to the Trump administration is ‘Do No Harm’ when negotiators from Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. meet in Washington next week to start talks to modernize the agreement.”
Cummings also noted ongoing efforts by USA Rice to encourage consistent purchases of U.S. rice by Iraq’s Grain Board and to achieve normal commercial relations with Cuba.
“While progress on Cuba has been slow, we continue to press for the lifting of U.S. policies that restrict our ability to sell to this key market. We’re appreciative of the support and leadership of many in the Arkansas congressional delegation, including Senator Boozman and Congressman Crawford,” concluded Cummings.