This week, the Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M University released a study on the impact of commodity price changes and higher input costs on its 64 crop representative farms, including rice farms, requested by Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee.
Generally, the report projects a profitable year for farmers of most major commodities, however rice is a clear outlier. Rice farmers will be most impacted by two years of stagnant commodity prices while facing drastic increases in production costs.
According to the report, “The 15 representative rice farms face the largest reduction in net cash farm income per farm ($880,000) and per acre ($442) relative to the other farm types … on average, 10 of the 15 rice farms are expected to face negative net cash farm income in 2022.”
The new AFPC report indicates a loss of $442 per acre in net cash farm income from 2021 to 2022 for rice farmers and represents a much larger increase in input costs than the $174 per acre increase that was reported in the previous AFPC study, released in February 2022, prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
USA Rice sent a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in February 2022, outlining the industry’s unique financial situation and requesting direct assistance for rice farmers. Additionally, USA Rice has continued to provide economic updates and voice industry concerns to various Congressional and Administration staff throughout 2022.
“This AFPC report highlights how dire the situation in rice country is and the toll rice farmers are taking as they face depressed prices all while their cost of production continues to soar, simply put, most rice farmers will not be profitable this year and need assistance,” said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward. “This data will help us further refine our ask to the Administration and Congress to make sure it’s targeted to those who need it most.”