In novel filing, U.S. says India grossly over-subsidizes wheat and rice production

It is clear that India violates WTO limits on trade-distorting farm subsidies, said the Trump administration on Wednesday in announcing a “counter-notification” that could be the first step to a formal challenge of India’s wheat and rice subsidies.

In California, rice farms become a home for wildlife

In California's Sacramento Valley, farmers and conservationists are working together to create habitat for wildlife, trying to mimic wetlands that were once plentiful in the state but have shrunk to one-tenth of their historic size. The focus of their work is the rice industry, which ranks second in production after the Mississippi Delta. The effort is paying off.  One farmer pointed out "egrets and herons, Sandhill Cranes, curlews, ibis, and countless ducks and geese filling whole sections of rice fields," reports Lisa Morehouse in her latest story for FERN, in collaboration with KQED's California Report. No paywall

World grain output sets record, global stockpile to be largest ever

The world’s farmers harvested a record 2.64 billion tonnes of wheat, rice, and feed grains in 2017, estimated the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. It was the group’s second sharp upward adjustment of its global production figure in two months.

Largest global grain harvest ever keeps prices steady

The bigger-than-expected corn crop in the United States is helping to drive world cereal grain production to a record for the second year in a row, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

‘Golden rice’ advances in Philippines, hits pothole in India

Philippines officials are considering a request for a biosafety permit for so-called golden rice, which would allow use of the vitamin A-enriched GMO rice as food or feed and for processing, says the Cornell Alliance for Science. The biosafety permit would allow researchers to conduct human nutrition studies, the alliance said during the summer, and an application to allow cultivation of the rice in the Philippines "will be submitted in the future."

Hurricane Harvey expected to pound Texas and the Delta

With winds of 105 mph early today, Hurricane Harvey could be the most powerful storm to hit the United States since 2005, bringing 15 to 25 inches of rain to the Texas coast and up to 15 inches of rain to central Louisiana, said the National Weather Service, as growers scurried to harvest cotton and rice ahead of the storm.

First U.S. rice shipment to Cuba in eight years, says trade monitor

The nonpartisan U.S-Cuba Trade and Economic Council says the first shipment of U.S. rice to Cuba in eight years apparently passed unnoticed in the ongoing debate over trade with the island nation. Based in New York, the council, which produces monthly reports on commerce involving the countries, says the cargo was worth $252,000 and sailed from the Houston area.

Scientists find enzyme that helps rice plants block arsenic

Rice tends to absorb arsenic from the soil more readily than other food crops, prompting concern about the presence of the chemical in baby food. "Scientists have identified enzymes that help rice plant roots tame arsenic, converting it into a form that can be pushed back into the soil," thereby reducing the threat to humans, says Science News.

With no regulations on arsenic in food, experts suggest ‘prudent avoidance’

Arsenic’s reputation as a potent poison has been known since ancient Greeks and Romans used it to dispatch rivals. But scientists are just beginning to get a handle on the risks that come from chronic exposure to low doses of arsenic, which has complicated efforts to regulate the most common route of exposure: through diet.