USDA released its prospective plantings report for grains today, including rice. This report is USDA’s first estimate of plantings for the new crop year and is always greatly anticipated by those in the grain business.
California: USDA estimated California’s total rice acres for the 2018 crop at 440,000 acres. They estimate that in 2018 CA will grow 385,000 acres of medium grain, 50,000 acres of short grain and 5,000 acres of long grain rice. The actual planted acres for 2017 crop was estimated at 445,000 acres of which 400,000 acres were medium grain, 38,000 acres were short grain and 7,000 acres were long grain. Their 2016 crop estimate was 541,000 acres of which 490,000 were medium grain, 42,000 acres were short grain and 9,000 acres were long grain.
Most in the CA rice industry believe California can plant a crop of roughly 525,000 to 550,000 acres when all available rice acres are planted. There have been a lot of rice acres that have been converted to trees and other crops since the record plantings of around 600,000 acres for the 2004 crop. At this point from what we are hearing from the countryside is that virtually all CA water districts will likely have full water allocations. The main component that will decrease planted acres is a proposed water transfer on the East side of the valley off of the Feather River. We feel there is motivation by many growers to transfer their surface water and fallow their rice acres, instead of growing rice, as the water transfer prices are attractive with little to no risk. There is also a chance that April rainstorms could lead to acres going to prevented planting.
Medium Grain: USDA estimated total medium grain acres for the 2018 crop to be 609,000 acres, a decrease of 4,000 acres from the 2017 crop estimate. They estimate the following medium grain acres by state: California: 385,000, Arkansas 180,000, Louisiana 30,000, Missouri 9,000 and Texas 5,000. USDA estimated planted acres for 2017 crop at 613,000 medium grain acres. They estimated the following medium grain acres by state: California 400,000 acres, Arkansas 165,000, Louisiana 30,000, Missouri 9,000 and Texas 9,000. USDA’s 2016 crop estimate was 665,000 medium grain acres. They estimated the following medium grain acres by state: California 490,000 acres, Arkansas 135,000, Louisiana 24,000, Texas 10,000 and Missouri 6,000.
All Rice: USDA estimated total rice acres for the 2018 crop to be 2.69 million acres, an increase of 23,000 acres from their 2017 estimate. This compares to their 2017 crop estimate of 2.46 million acres and their 2016 crop estimate of 3.15 million acres.
To read the full report click here. Rice data is on page 14 of the report.