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November 8, 2013

Rice Planting in Rio Grande do Sul Passes 70%

Farmers in Rio Grande do Sul have taken advantage of good spring weather and planted 70% of their intended irrigated rice acreage. There has been ample rainfall thus far this spring and the water reserves in the state's reservoirs and rivers used to irrigate the crop is considered adequate. According to the Rice Institute of Rio Grande do Sul (Irga), the state is expected to produce 8.5 million tons of rice, which would be an increase of about 2% compared to last year.

Virtually all the rice production in Rio Grande do Sul is flood irrigated and it is planted in October and November and harvested in March and April. The state produces approximately 70% of the rice produced in Brazil. The second largest producer is the neighboring state of Santa Catarina and together these two states account for 76% of Brazil's rice production. The yields in these two states are expected to be higher this year compared to last year due to ample water reserves.

Most of the rice produced outside of far southern Brazil is non-irrigated and farmers in many parts of Brazil have opted to increase their soybean acreage at the expense of reduced rice acreage. The total Brazilian rice production is expected to be approximately 12.0 million tons or slightly more than last season (+2.4%).