Despite being one of the most consumed foods on the planet, rice is a difficult crop to store, requiring carefully managed conditions and vigilant moisture testing.
Well before scientific instruments were available, buyers would analyze rice moisture by taking a few grains and biting into them! While this practice is still employed in some rural villages, today’s quality control specialists follow international standards which rely on the highest quality test equipment to determine grain quality and pricing.
According to the January 15th ‘Rice Outlook’ report released by the USDA earlier this year, 2012/13 produced the highest U.S. rice crop yields on record, with Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas breaking state records. The most recent report, released May 14, 2013, shows nationwide yields are projected to decline 5% from last year’s harvest, yet, at 189.5 million cwt and a 5% increase in imports, the US will continue to operate a sizeable rice economy in the coming year.
Source: USDA Rice Outlook
The same report noted, “global rice production for 2013/14 is forecast to [increase] 2 percent from a year earlier.” Global rice use (including a residual component) for 2013/14 is projected at a record 476.8 million tons, and global ending stocks for 2013/14 are expected to increase 2 percent from 2013/14 - the highest since 2001/02.
That’s a lot of rice! But what does it mean for the farmers, and food manufacturers?
For those using rice as a raw ingredient in food manufacturing, it’s more important than ever to accurately assess the quality, and thus fair purchasing price of rice.
Rice moisture content is essential for assessing quality, and value. Inaccurate moisture content can lead to extreme profit losses for both farmers and food manufacturers. These include extra drying costs and harvesting loss, spoilage, over-drying and weight (profit) loss if the grain is sold too dry or too damp. For those purchasing rice, or any grain for that matter, getting quick, accurate moisture measurement from samples is essential to ensuring the supplier maintains global standards, no matter where or when the rice is bought. Simple to use rice analyzers, like Kett's PQ520, take small sample sizes to regularly and efficiently monitor stock and incoming shipments. The unique ability of the PQ520 to measure each rice kernel and provide a histogram of moisture content, allows the grower, buyer, and processor to optimize harvest and overall rice quality.
For those in the agricultural industry, the concept of taking advantage of times of bountiful crop yields is as old as time. Just look at the famous story of Biblical Joseph, advising pharaoh to store up a portion of the crop for lean years ahead. As the parable cautions, maximizing profits during high crop productivity is essential in preparing for future droughts. Additionally, farmers gain when they employ consistent analysis of their grain quality. Selling crops at their optimum price serves as a protective measure for any farmer working against prices dropping with an oversaturated market.
Whether eating rice crispies, sushi, curry or jambalaya, rice is a rising staple not just in the American diet, but throughout the globe. Making the most of these abundant harvests by cutting down on unnecessary waste through moisture testing increases profit and ensures a sustainable economy for the rice industry as a whole.
Kett's Riceter is the industry standard for rice measurement and continues, after 60+ years, to be the number one selling handheld grain moisture meter in the world. And today we have a range of instruments, like the PQ520 grain analyzer, to meet the rising demand for quality control in the rice industry.
Here are 3 simple ways to help you capitalize on rice harvests this coming season with the right test instruments to ensure product quality and efficient production.
- Download the PQ520 Brochure
- Farmers - Buy the Riceter online now
- Get a price or talk to an applications engineer about the best measurement solution for your needs. Email inquiry or call 800-438-5388