SWLA rice industry weighs in on Russian ban on U.S. imports

SWLA rice industry weighs in on Russian ban on U.S. imports


Russia has imposed a ban on agricultural imports from the United States, but will this have a negative impact on the Southwest Louisiana rice industry? Local rice milling companies and rice farmers say they don't think they'll have anything to worry about.

"From a pure agricultural stand point, this has no impact on our local producers," said CEO of Farmers Rice Milling Company in Lake Charles Jamie Warshaw. "Russia is one of those countries that depend greatly on the world to feed its people. About 40 percent of what Russia consumes has to be imported; it's somewhat political suicide."

Commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain says some industries like the meat and soy bean industry, which are some of the goods that have been shipped to Russia, may see most of the negative impact. Though it may affect Louisiana agriculture as a whole, he says the state will work together to overcome this potential crisis.

"If he doesn't choose to buy any of our products then we will just make a concerted effort to sell more to our other trading partners," said Strain. "At the end of the day, you know, we will persevere."

The White House said the ban will only deepen Russia's isolation from the international community.

The imports are to be banned or limited for up to one year.

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