Drought may hit rice crop hard

courtesy of California Rice Commission
courtesy of California Rice Commission

Acreage cutback is precedent setting, says Professor Dan Sumner.

May 30, 2014
(from KPBS Radio News)

California’s drought is expected to have a dramatic effect on rice production. Of all the food crops in the state, rice is likely to be affected the most.

Northern California farmers typically have plenty of water compared to those in Southern California. But not this year.

“This is the first time I know of that we cut back rice acreage because surface water allocations were cut so severely to water districts north of Sacramento,” said Daniel Sumner, a UC Davis professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and director of the Agricultural Issues Center.

Sumner also noted that the anticipated reduction in supply of the medium grain rice predominantly grown in California is having an impact on rice prices. A 100-pound sack of rice, which was selling for between $15 and $20, is now in the range of $25 to $30 or more.

(Read or listen to the full story by Capitol Public Radio reporter Amy Quinton, May 2, 2014.)

Media contact:

  • Daniel Sumner, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis, 530-752-1668, dasumner@ucdavis.edu

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis, contact: