Due to recent drought in California, it is estimated that all of the food crops in the state will be affected and the losses caused has already driven up the prices.
California virtually delivers all of Sushi rice and half of it is exported. The rice grown in the Sacramento Valley is medium grain where this high gluten sticky rice is perfect for Sushi. The California rice used in Sushi rice in New York or Florida is called as Calrose.
Northern California has plenty of water as compared to Southern California during dry years as well and hence the farmers in North earn profits by selling water to South, but Agriculture economist, Dan Sunner communicated that it will not happen this year as rice acreage is cut back due to surface water allocations reduced from districts of North,
As per Van Vleck of Montna Farms, there will be reduce of water by 48 percent over last year and which in turn will reduce the plantings.
The California rice Commission has estimated that rice farmers will leave 1000,000 acres which is about 20 percent of the fields fallow. As medium grain rice California is very thinly traded commodity hence due to drought there are severe changes in the prices already. Farmers getting between $15 and $20 for a 100 pound sack are now in the range of $25 and $30 or more.
Russell Oto, General Manager of store specializing in Asian foods said that by the time increase trickles down to customers, it will be minor. Hence the major affect will be on the small communities who are buying rice.
Rice dryers, rice mills and storage facilities, equipment dealers all rely on the rice industry and will be heavily affected by the drought and it is expected that in future California may see more dry years.
Economists say that the gap between the supply and demand will give rise to a dangerous situation where in future customers may lose trust on California rice.