A new cost of production study was recently published looking at Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta rice. Delta Crops Resource Management Farm Advisor with UC Cooperative Extension, Michelle Leinfelder-Miles said an updated study had not been done for the region in quite some time. Since then, the cost of certain inputs and practices has significantly changed.
Incorporating information from grower input, the cost study provides information on a hypothetical farm with 1,000 acres of annually planted rice. “That’s so important for the cost study because it means that we’re doing our best to get the most accurate costs and returns for that commodity published into the study,” said Leinfelder-Miles.
One of the priorities in the study was detailing the cost of converting ground for rice production from some other annual crop. A significant amount of preparation needs to be done beforehand, which includes land leveling and the construction of levees. “We had a goal of getting those conversion costs into the study so that folks who are new to rice growing or are thinking about growing rice can have an understanding of what it would cost to make that change,” Leinfelder-Miles noted.
A cost study of rice production in the Sacramento Valley was recently published in 2021. While the same commodity, Leinfelder-Miles points out that growing practices are notably different for Delta rice. One significant difference is how rice is planted, which differentiates costs between the regions. An updated cost of production study will offer industry members in the Delta region a better idea of what can be expected.
“As much as it was about updating a previous study, one of our main objectives was just to help growers. There’s a lot of interest among growers in the Delta in rice and they just need to have a report that they can refer to, to get an idea of costs,” Leinfelder-Miles explained. “Certainly, growers can talk with other growers. But it’s nice to also have this in writing for them, for banks who are doing the lending, and for agencies who are interested in learning more about Delta Rice. There’s a number of different parties who will probably take an interest in this study.”