India is challenged at WTO over rice and wheat subsidies
Some of the world’s agricultural powerhouses accused India on Thursday of violating world trade rules through exorbitant subsidies for its wheat and rice farmers. India was the ninth-largest farm exporter in the world in 2020, but its success was built on subsidized production, said Australia, Canada, Paraguay, Thailand, Ukraine, and the United States in a WTO filing.
Record-high world grain production for second year in a row
With production surging by 4.4 percent, corn will drive world cereal grain production to record levels in 2020/21, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in its first forecast of the new crops. It was the second forecast in a week of record global output as the planting season ends in the northern hemisphere.
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.
On the cusp of GMO biofortified rice to combat anemia
Researchers are developing a new strain of genetically modified rice that contains much higher levels of iron and zinc, says the University of Melbourne. "This has the potential to reduce chronic malnutrition disorders that can be caused by an over-reliance on rice in the human diet," says the university.
Farmers prepare for the worst in Louisiana
With the floodwaters still rising in some parts of Louisiana, a lot of farmers with crops still in the field, as well as some with harvested crops in storage, are facing a total loss, says AgriPulse.
Rice prices soar on flooding of crop in Louisiana
Two feet of rainfall over the weekend put the rice harvest in jeopardy in Louisana, the No. 3 rice state in the country. The deluge drove up futures prices by 6 percent on Monday, the largest one-day gain in five years, said Reuters. The rain flooded rice fields ready for harvest, according to a Louisiana State University rice researcher, and came on the heels of a USDA forecast of a record crop in the Pelican State.
US corn, wheat crops drive near-record world harvest
Corn production will surge by a hefty 5 percent worldwide, pushing global grain production to within shouting distance of the record set two years ago, said the International Grains Council. Bigger-than-expected wheat and corn crops in the United States will be a factor in the near-record harvest and an expansion in the season-ending "carry over" stocks for the fourth year in a row.
Criticism of ‘rice first’ policy in Vietnam drought
The El Niño weather pattern, now on the wane, is the prime reason for crop-killing drought in Vietnam, "but it is not the only one," says the New York Times. Scientists say a contributing factor is the government's "rice first" policy, which leads to planting of three rice crops a year instead of the traditional one or two. The intensive growing depletes soil nutrients and magnifies the impact of drought.
World heads for second-largest grains harvest ever
The outlook for wheat and corn crops in the major grain-growing countries of the world has improved by 10 million tonnes in the past month, said the International Grains Council in forecasting the second-largest global grain harvest ever. Despite an upturn in consumption, the grain carry-over at the end of 2016/17 would be a record 474 million tonnes, up 6 million tonnes from 2015/16, the current record.
FDA wants limit for inorganic arsenic in rice cereal
Rice cereal is a common "starter" food for infants, but rice has higher levels of inorganic arsenic, a potential health risk, than other grains.