Rice Farming Business
Rice is one of the most widely grown crops in the world. It is consumed by more than half of the world's population. In the US, rice farming is a large scale operation. Are you interested in the commercial growing of rice?
Rice is consumed as staple food by more than half of the world's population, mostly in Asia and Africa.
It is one of the most widely grown crops in the world next to corn and wheat. Rice is consumed directly or processed to make products like beer, cereal, rice cakes and pet foods. The most commonly grown varieties in the world are glutinous rice, aromatic rice, japonica and indica (accounts for more than half of rice produced globally).
Rice Farming in the U.S.
Rice needs plenty of water and high average temperature to grow. As such rice growing is limited only to certain areas where these conditions are met. In the US, it is grown in Arkansas and in certain areas in Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, Louisiana, and California. Rice varieties produced in the U.S. are categorized as long, medium or short grained. Each region specializes in producing one of these types of rice. For example, the South specializes in producing long-grained rice, which constitutes the bulk of the U.S. production.
Rice production in the U.S. is costly, partly due to high irrigation requirements. Fuel and fertilizer expenses also factor high in production costs. Rice farming in the U.S. is most often pursued as a large-scale operation with seeding and insecticide spraying done aerially. Planting varies by region and runs from March through mid-May. Harvest starts early or mid-July, peaking in September and ending in early November depending on the area. A second harvest is possible from the cuttings of the first by reflooding the farm and regrowing the stubble of the first crop.
U.S. Market for Rice
U.S. rice farmers sell half of their produce in the local market and half in the international market. It supplies long-grained rice to the European Union countries and rough-rice to Central America. Locally, it supplies rice seeds and whole-kernel milled rice. One domestic demand that U.S. rice farmers have yet to meet is the demand for aromatic varieties that can compete with Asian varieties in terms of quality. Currently, the demand for aromatic rice like jasmine and basmati rice is met by importation. The demand is expected to increase as the population of ethnic groups that consume rice increase.
In general, rice farming in the U.S. is a high-yielding project. But profitability in international markets continues to be constrained by factors such as strong competition with Asian countries that produce rice at a lower cost. This is critical as the country relies heavily on global markets for rice for its sales. Added to the constrain in profitability is the high cost of fuel, fertilizer and of irrigating ricelands.
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