CROWLEY, LA – For quite some time, the USA Rice Marketability and Competitiveness Task Force has been investigating quality concerns raised by Central American importers of U.S.-origin rice. And last week, those concerns were addressed in a tangible manner with the debut of LA 2126, a new long grain experimental line, developed especially for Latin American consumers at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Rice Research Station.
In attendance at the meeting to showcase LA 2126 were Carlos Bermudez and Mariano Madriz, members of the National Costa Rican Rice Millers Association (ANINSA), and Dr. Adam Famoso, the LSU rice researcher responsible for developing the new variety. Famoso shared 350-gram samples of LA 2126 and compared its characteristics to other varieties on the market. He also emphasized that the new variety is currently grown experimentally and for seed increase at the Rice Research Station but may be commercially available in the near future.
The ANINSA representatives were pleased with the appearance of the grain as well as its cooking characteristics, and requested supplementary samples for additional evaluation upon return to Costa Rica.
“This variety is the beginning of what the Latin American consumer normally looks for when cooking rice,” said Bermudez. “Hopefully, in the short term, we will be able to obtain more varieties of this type.”
Input from the Marketability and Competitiveness Task Force helped guide the research development process. The Task Force is comprised of farmers, millers, and merchants, and includes a technical group of private and public rice researchers. Several of the experimental varieties were shared during the USA Rice webinar
held last September, LA 2126 was among them.
“We are pleased that the new variety met the ANINSA representatives’ quality criteria,” said Famoso. “This line is in advanced testing again this year and barring any unforeseen performance concerns, we would expect a commercial release in 2023.”
Central America is the third largest export market for U.S. rice. In 2020, more than 452,000 MT of all forms of rice was exported to the region with a value of $159 million dollars.