Local reaction to US-China rice export agreement - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Local reaction to US-China rice export agreement

Rice (Source: KPLC) Rice (Source: KPLC)
JEFF DAVIS PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

After years of political gridlock, the United States and China reached a trade agreement for exporting rice. Once the deal is finalized, it could provide a boost to farmers across the U.S., including those here in Louisiana.

From rice farming alone, Louisiana earns $712 million in revenue in exports, and across the U.S., $5.6 Billion, not including the value added from mills.

Bill Rase with the Port of Lake Charles says the deal is a breakthrough that's been years in the making. 

"You're talking about something that could be very beneficial to everybody's economy, including Louisiana and Louisiana rice farmers," said Rase. 

Kevin Berken, a rice farmer in Jeff Davis Parish, said having another market to export Louisiana rice only helps the economy. 

"It's a big deal for us - the rice industry - and is huge for this area," said Berken. "We employ a lot of people with our mills and everything, and our export services."

Berken added China has the potential of being a very good market. 

"They consume the equivalent of the whole U.S. rice production in 18 days, so it's a big deal over there," said Berken. "We're anticipating that within the next year or so we should be able to send them about 50,000 metric tons, that's what the projections are, and within five years 240,000 metric tons." 

Both Rase and Berken agree, however, that it's a process that won't happen overnight. 

"There's a lot of information the Chinese will be requiring of us," said Rase. 

The reason is because of a quality control initiative within the trade deal. 

"The rice that we send to them is going to need to be clean of the bugs and all of the germs that could affect their country," said Berken. "So they're going to be coming within the next couple of months to tour our mills," said Berken. 

Berken said he hopes the Chinese will look to Louisiana as the go-to for rice once everything is finalized. 

"They don't know anything about our rice. Once we begin the process of letting them taste it, and teaching them about our rice, then I think it'll be a great market for us," said Berken. 

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Hometown Hero: Kip Coltrin and The Cajun Special Forces

    Hometown Hero: Kip Coltrin and The Cajun Special Forces

    Thursday, December 14 2017 8:26 AM EST2017-12-14 13:26:51 GMT
    (source: Kip Coltrin)(source: Kip Coltrin)

    A Lake Area who man who jumped to help flood victims last year has not stopped. Kip Coltrin started The Cajun Special Forces during the August 2016 floods. Coltrin got a call from a friend needing help. Over a year later, The Cajun Special Forces is well known in Louisiana and Texas for its rescue efforts. "We've seen people give until they couldn't give anymore, do until they couldn't do anymore. The one thing I've learned and it's said all the time, there's still good people o...

    More >>

    A Lake Area who man who jumped to help flood victims last year has not stopped. Kip Coltrin started The Cajun Special Forces during the August 2016 floods. Coltrin got a call from a friend needing help. Over a year later, The Cajun Special Forces is well known in Louisiana and Texas for its rescue efforts. "We've seen people give until they couldn't give anymore, do until they couldn't do anymore. The one thing I've learned and it's said all the time, there's still good people o...

    More >>
  • KPLC's Community Christmas & Salvation Army Angel Tree

    Helping hundreds of families have a brighter Christmas!

    Thursday, December 14 2017 5:35 AM EST2017-12-14 10:35:49 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    When you're having trouble making ends meet, giving your children a Merry Christmas can be a challenge! This year, KPLC’s COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS & THE SALVATION ARMY ANGEL TREE will help over 450 local families have a brighter holiday season. 

    More >>

    When you're having trouble making ends meet, giving your children a Merry Christmas can be a challenge! This year, KPLC’s COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS & THE SALVATION ARMY ANGEL TREE will help over 450 local families have a brighter holiday season. 

    More >>
  • Flu season already hitting Louisiana hard

    Flu season already hitting Louisiana hard

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 8:11 PM EST2017-12-14 01:11:05 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
    Flu season is upon us.  But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana are already seeing high levels of flu activity. "Our ER director here at the hospital mentioned to me today that we've seen definitely in the last two weeks an increase in cases," said Christus St. Patrick's Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Timothy Haman. "Two to three to four patients a day, and we saw six yesterday."  H...More >>
    Flu season is upon us.  But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana are already seeing high levels of flu activity. "Our ER director here at the hospital mentioned to me today that we've seen definitely in the last two weeks an increase in cases," said Christus St. Patrick's Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Timothy Haman. "Two to three to four patients a day, and we saw six yesterday."  H...More >>
Powered by Frankly