USDA's Farm Service Agency announced it is rescinding implementation of the 75-cent discount for light stain on rice forfeited to the Commodity Credit Corp. in lieu of loan repayment.

The Houston-based U.S. Rice Producers Association, which had asked USDA to reconsider its June announcement of the discount, called the action “extremely positive for all rice producers.”

“We all owe a debt of thanks to Secretary Veneman and the capable program staff at FSA who were willing to listen to the views of farmers, warehousemen, and traders of rice, and who were able to make the decision that the department needs to reconsider how to achieve its goal of protecting the CCC from unnecessary losses while protecting farmers and the rice marketing system,” said Dwight Roberts, USRPA president.

USDA will soon schedule meetings with the industry to solicit assistance in developing a method to determine the market discount for stained rice and potentially modify the procedures under which light stain is handled.

USRPA assembled a group — representing farmers, warehousemen, and buyers of rice — which was able to supply FSA officials with information on the current market handling practices and discounts for light stain. The group also conveyed its view of some of the unintended consequences of FSA's June 20 announcement, and suggested alternative methods for determining and assessing a market-based discount.

“We want to seize this occasion to publicly express our appreciation for the way in which FSA responded to our concerns, and the speed with which they were able to make this important decision,” Roberts said.