Rice Crop Update: Texas 65% Planted; Delta Battling Wet Conditions

    Texas and Louisiana

    With over 65% completed, planting in Texas continues with encouragement from the dry, sunny weather conditions.  The cool weather delayed planting for a few days, and this will delay harvesting and drying as well.  There are no new crop bids or contracts that we know of, but something should be offered in the near future.  In any case, Texas rice availability will be tight just as it has for the last two year due to the water situation.  Something less than 1 million cwts of old crop are still in first hands, and those folks still holding are not feeling any pressure to sell.

    The mills will likely wait until they absolutely have to buy to pick up the remaining portion of the crop.  There were no public sales this week, and we do not know of any bids in the market at present.

    South Louisiana’s planting is moving along steadily as well, with estimates now of over 50% complete, even better than that in the parishes below I-10.  All planting is later here than is usually the case, and this will delay getting dried rice by 10 days to two weeks at harvest.  New crop bidding at $25.00 per bbl fob farm for medium grain is still being noted, while long grain bids for early delivery only are still reported at $23.50 per bbl delivered barge loading point or mill.

    We don’t know of any long grain being booked at this level, and we are told it will take a minimum of $24.00 per bbl fob farm to buy long grain.  Old crop long grain is almost completely out of first hands we are told, but whatever is still around can be sold to mills at $25.00 per bbl fob farm – we do wonder if someone has not paid a higher price just to get the last stocks available until sometime in August.  A lot of medium grain is being planted for new crop – we are told maybe as much as 80,000 to 100,000 acres, with the majority at the expense of long rain acres.

    The Delta/Arkansas/Missouri/Mississippi

    The region continues to fight wet conditions.  We are told that Mississippi corn is facing a lot of planting difficulty, and if those acres cannot be planted on a timely basis, more soybeans or rice may be sown instead, most likely soybeans with the recent strength in soybean prices.  The rain has been intermittent, but just about the time the fields are dry enough to get into, along comes another 1.5 to 2 inches, just enough to put a stop to field work and planting.

    New crop long grain prices are not exciting at $6.00 per bu delivered, but we hear that a small amount has been booked at that level.  Old crop is just about gone – getting harder to find now.  Trading is reported at $16.10 to $16.25 per cwt delivered mill, with the export bid at $15.90 per cwt delivered barge loading facility.  Temps seem to be better, but Arkansas is getting hit with wet weather, too, and this is delaying planting on a good bit of ground.  The higher, sandy soil can be sown, but the gumbo is too wet – same situation as in Mississippi.

    A good bit of medium grain is expected to go in here, with new crop prices in the area of $6.50 per bu picked up at the farm bins still being offered.  New crop long grain pricing is closer to $6.00 per bu, but there is not a lot of interest at that level.  Questions about potential prevented planting are being asked in both Mississippi and Arkansas.  Old crop Arkansas long grain is being moved between $7.00 and $7.30 per bu picked up at the bins, with pricing depending on individual farms’ proximity to the buyer.  It’s a long time before any new crop long grain will be coming in up here, though; higher old crop prices, though not guaranteed, would not be a surprise either.  Missouri is getting some early planting done, and there is very little old crop rice remaining in first hands.

    A lot of shipping to barge points has been done and is just about finished now.  A good bit of export paddy comes from up here, and that market (old crop) could tighten as well.  As far as new crop long grain is concerned, if the Delta/Arkansas/Missouri region plants as much as is now expected, prices will come down very hard.

    The Rice Advocate

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