By Don Molino, The Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network
Louisiana Rice Producer John Owen from Rayville, a member of the Louisiana Rice Promotion Board, says the US is continuing to fight a battle with imported rice.
"Most people don't realize how much rice we grow here in the US," says Owen. "In fact, almost 80% of the rice we eat here is grown here and much of it right here in Louisiana."
Louisiana producers grow 2.8 billion pounds of rice here in Louisiana on 428,000 acres and it contributes more than $700 million to the states economy.
"But we're starting to see an alarming trend of rising imported rice. It's mostly Basmati and Jasmine," according to Owen. "And the really upsetting thing is that we grow those varities here."
The LSU AgCenter has developed a rice that stands up to imported Jasmine. It's fragrant, it tastes fantastic and, as I said before, it's grown right here in Louisiana. We also grow Basmati in Texas and Calfornia."