After months of talks, the U.S. Rice Producers' Group and Rice Millers' Association, both charter members of the USA Rice Federation, have joined other commodity groups in sending a letter to Rep. Larry Combest, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

The letter outlines key areas of agreement that have been reached among the groups, including the U.S. Rice Producers Association, regarding the commodity title of the next farm bill. These include:

  • The levels of support provided to producers of all program crops should be balanced and equitable, but should not drive producer planting decisions;
  • The marketing loan and loan deficiency payments should be continued;
  • Fixed and decoupled payments should be continued;
  • Counter-cyclical payments should be authorized to provide additional financial assistance, when necessary;
  • Payment limitations should be eliminated; and
  • No supply management provisions should be included, including voluntary or mandatory acreage reduction programs or a farmer owned reserve.

The letter also expresses support for voluntary programs that provide additional financial incentives for producers in exchange for conservation practices.

“The U.S. Rice Producers' Group works closely with the Rice Millers' Association and other commodity groups to arrive at consensus positions related to the farm bill, as well as other measures that will secure much-needed funding that benefits producers and the rice industry as a whole,” said Gary Sebree, an Arkansas rice producer and USRPG chairman. “We thank Chairman Combest for his leadership on these critical issues, and look forward to working with him as the farm bill debate moves forward.”

USA Rice is a federation of U.S. rice producers, millers and allied businesses working together to address common challenges, advocate collective interests, and create opportunities to strengthen the long-term economic viability of the U.S. rice industry. USA Rice members are active in all rice-producing states: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas. The U.S. Rice Producers' Group, USA Rice Council and Rice Millers' Association are charter members of USA Rice.