- Saleem Shaikh and Sughra Tunio report on Trust.org that increasingly extreme weather threatens Pakistan’s rice production and food security, with heavy rains and floods destroying many rice fields across the country in 2013. Shortages in supply have also caused price spikes in domestic markets, and many experts are criticizing the government for lack of support for research into flood-resilient hybrids.
- Jake Maxwell Watts, Isabella Steger, and Wilawan Watcharasakwet report for The Wallstreet Journal that the Thailand government is essentially out of money to support its rice subsidy program, with many farmers still unpaid for rice sold to the government’s pledging program in October. The government had promised to complete payments by January 15 but has pushed the deadline to the end of the month, while a one million tonne government sale to China is also on hold. Farmers are angry at the delays in payments while the middle class remains upset that their tax money continues to go to the failing scheme, with protestors in Bangkok demanding the resignation of the current Prime Minister.
- Oryza.com reports that rice breeders have succeeded in combining traits from an indica variety which contains allelochemicals that provide natural weed resistance with the high quality of popular U.S. varieties to provide a low input, high yielding variety that can be grown organically.
- California rice grower Josh Sheppard comments on getting seeds ready for the next season for the CalRice.org blog.
- The CalRice.org blog offers two short videos featuring the majestic bald eagle taking advantage of the wetland habitat provided by the rice fields of Butte County.
- The California Rice Commission’s Jim Morris provides a video explaining how Wildlife Refuges offer an amazing chance for you to see birds and other animals up close in the Sacramento Valley.