Asked for his views on the current medium-grain rice situation (for more, see http://deltafarmpress.com/rice/medium-grain-0305/), Keith Glover, president and CEO of Producers Rice Mill in Stuttgart, Ark., also spoke on several other issues. Among his comments:

On the long-grain market…

“We’re holding our breath, hoping the United States will get some of the Iraqi rice business. Unfortunately, demand for long-grain rice isn’t as robust as that for medium-grain. The rice industry desperately needs some business on the long-grain side.”

On the improving possibility of U.S. rice shipments to Cuba…

“Things look promising on the Cuba front. In President Obama’s budget bill that’s being pushed through Congress, I understand there are provisions that would undo rules the Bush administration put in place in 2005. Those really constricted our ability to trade with Cuba.

“If that part of (Obama’s) budget goes through, it would allow U.S. banks to deal directly with Cuban banks. And it would allow those selling agricultural products to travel to Cuba for business. That would be good news.

“However, the opening up of Cuba would probably be a bigger help in time, not immediately. If that budget passed today, I’m not sure we’d ship rice to them tomorrow. My gut feeling is Cuba has probably bought rice for several months out with current suppliers like Vietnam. But overall, it would be a huge development for next year and years ahead.”

email: dbennett@farmpress.com