Identity-preserved hybrid rice grain is making an impact on sales into the United States’ largest export market via the new South Louisiana Rail Facility in Lacassine.

“The quality of the hybrid rice is on par with varieties and has been met with favorable response among mills located in Mexico,” said South Louisiana rice farmer Mark Pousson.

“We recently shipped a 45-car order to Mexico that had a composite grade from FGIS of 63/72 #2,” Pousson said. “A fair amount of the order included hybrids, and the customer noted that this was the best rice they had received since 2009.”

“Composite milling grades were running between 59/70 up to 67/73 on the first 125 rail cars,” said Pousson.

Quality continues to be a major focus of the U.S. rice industry. Extreme weather over the past three years has affected the quality of all U.S. rice. Most experts would agree that 2013 brought favorable weather conditions across the South, which resulted in improved milling yields and quality.

“We are hearing reports from rice mills across Latin America that the grain quality in recent shipments is much improved over those of the past few years,” said Brian Ottis, marketing and client support manager for RiceTec.

Ottis indicated that one of the biggest complaints he’s heard is about the high price of brokens due to a lack of supply.

“With a hybrid rice market share of approximately 50%, and the positive comments coming from our export partners about the 2013 crop, it’s apparent that the quality concerns of the prior three years were not a function of the increasing amount of hybrid rice,” said Ottis.

RiceTec remains committed to working with the U.S. rice industry on improving our rice and understanding the factors that impact quality.