In the United States, rice is a crop that is planted on a relatively small number of acres by a relatively small number of farmers. In the rest of the world, particularly in Asia, it is much more than that.
“The Chinese say ‘More precious than pearls and jade are the five grains of which rice is the first grain,” says a video produced by Firstgrain, a rice marketing service which takes its name from the Chinese proverb.
Milo Hamilton, president of Firstgrain, and Stuart Hoetger, economic consultant for the company, will be the presenters for a University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Food and Agribusiness Webinar at 2 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 12).
“Global rice statistics suggest an inability of global rice production to keep pace with consumption,” says Bobby Coats, professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at the University of Arkansas. “The implications of tighter stocks on long and medium grain markets will be discussed.
“Deeper changes beyond sheer economics are influencing market decisions & responses,” Dr. Coats notes. “The key to 2016 Southern long grain acreage expansion will be Asian rice prices. 2016 rice market considerations before making that planting decision will be reviewed in detail.”
To register for the Firstgrain webinar, which will be one of two discussing different facets of the rice industry on Nov. 12, click on https://uaex.zoom.us/webinar/register/3db8dd1150f1dbea7c24e00bf0acd2b8.
For three decades Milo Hamilton has covered the world of rice for his customers. For 18 years he bought rice for Uncle Ben’s Inc., a Mars Incorporated company. For the last 14 years, his company, Firstgrain, has advised sophisticated rice firms and farmers on the market and its relationship to everything else.
“It focuses on long-term and short-term changes and gives others an edge,” says Hamilton. “It seeks to level the playing field for rice farmers to help them prosper and to respect each other as professionals. The current clientele of Firstgrain includes CEOs of rice firms and farms across the globe.”
In recent years, Hamilton grew concerned about the global impact of change from the rural rice markets in Asia. As a world expert on rice, his concern led him to write his book “When Rice Shakes the World,” so readers might know what could happen and what should happen as the East and the West collide.
He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Jan, and his little Pomeranian, Penney. He is surrounded by his children and their families.
After graduating from the University of California-Davis, Stuart Hoetger worked in corporate finance before transitioning into the rice industry. Hoetger uses his finance and economic background to provide weekly market analysis to various rice market newsletters, most notably, Firstgrain’s Rice Market Strategist. Hoetger also gives market presentations at rice conferences throughout Asia and Latin America.
Hoetger’s fluency in Spanish has afforded speaking engagements in the Western Hemisphere that include Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, Paraguay, and Peru. In the Eastern Hemisphere, Hoetger contributed to the rice futures technical working group in Singapore on behalf of Firstgrain, and more recently has consulted on agricultural development projects in Northeast China and Thailand. Hoetger’s technical understanding of the global rice trade has proven valuable to decision makers in both the private and the public sector.
In addition to market advisory, Stuart Hoetger and Logan Wilson, owners of The Stogan Group, manage the Calrose Coop, a grower-owned paddy marketing cooperative, and are owners in the new rice paddy trading platform, CashRice Network. Hoetger and Wilson seek to increase price discovery and market liquidity in order to generate higher returns for their members.
To watch the Firstgrain video, go to https://vimeo.com/140280882.
For more information on the University of Arkansas Food and Agribusiness Webinars, visit http://www.uaex.edu/farm-ranch/economics-marketing/food-agribusiness-webinars/.