Rice producers applaud funding

HOUSTON—The US Rice Producers Association announced today that ample funding has been provided to the Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service

(NASS) to implement a September 1 stocks report for rice in the fiscal year 2010 Agriculture Appropriations bill.

As approved yesterday by the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the report on the fiscal year 2010 bill states:

“Market transparency provided by timely stocks reporting enhances the ability of rice farmers to profitably market their crop. The Committee expects that NASS will implement a September 1 stocks report for rice to include old crop stocks.”

Mississippi rice farmer and USRPA Chairman Gary Fioranelli said, “The addition of a September 1 rice stocks reporting date for rice farmers is great news. Rice farmers in Mississippi and across the rice belt owe a debt of thanks to Senator Thad Cochran for championing this effort.”

The bill increases the annual appropriation for NASS by more than $10 million, from $151.6 million in fiscal year 2009 to $161.8 million in fiscal year 2010.

NASS has estimated that the administration of a September 1 stocks report will cost between $30,000 and $50,000 per year. This amounts to less than one-half of one percent of the increase in NASS’s budget under the bill.

USRPA President & CEO Dwight Roberts added, “USRPA has been leading a rice industry effort for several years to make available greater market information to rice producers. The addition of a September 1 NASS stocks report for rice will enhance the reporting of annual ending stocks and enhance producers’ ability to profitably market their crop. We look forward to working with NASS to implement this new report as soon as possible.”

The US Rice Producers Association, representing rice farmers in Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, California, Arkansas and Louisiana, is the only organization solely representing the views of U.S. rice farmers.

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