Types of rice in the USA
The earliest types of rice grown in Carolina were the African Oryza glaberrima, Asian Oryza sativa, “Carolina White” and the prized, high-yield “Carolina Gold”. After the total decline of rice cultivation in Carolina, “Carolina Gold” cultivation moved to Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.
In California, production is dominated by short and medium grain japonica varieties, including special grains developed for the local climate such as Calrose, which makes up as much as 85% of the state’s crop.
The broad classification of rice grown includes Long Grain Rice, Medium Grain Rice and Short Grain Rice.
While now more than 100 varieties of rice are grown in the world, in the US 20 varieties of rice are commercially produced, primarily in the states of Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and California. Primary classifications of rice grown are the long, medium or short grain type. The Long Grain Rice is slender and long, the Medium Grain Rice is plump but not round, and the Short Grain Rice is round. The forms of rice are Brown Rice, Parboiled Rice and Regular-Milled White Rice.
The American utilization of rice in the country is food use (58%), while 16% is used in food and beer processing and 10% is used in pet food.
Special varieties of rice such as jasmine rice and basmati rice which are of the aromatic variety are imported from Thailand, India, and Pakistan, as such varieties have not been evolved in the US; this demand for import is quite substantial and largely to meet the increasing population of the rice-eating ethnic community.
Exports of American Rice Worldwide
The first export of rice from Carolina was 5 tons in 1698, which rose to 330 tons by 1700 and jumped to 42,000 tons in 1770. However, as a result of the abolition of slave labour, export from Carolina eventually ceased.
While the rice production in the US accounts for about 2% of world production, its exports account for about 10% of all exports. The export is mostly of high-quality rice of the long and combined medium/short-grain varieties of rice. The type of rice exported is rough or unmilled rice, parboiled rice, brown rice, and fully milled rice. Exports to Mexico and Central America are mostly of the rough rice variety. Other countries to which the US exports rice include Mexico, Central America, Northeast Asia, the Caribbean, and the Middle East, Canada, the European Union, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The exported variety is free of genetically enhanced (GE) rice. The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are the agreements under which the US exports its rice and this has resulted in an increase of exports from the United States of America since the 1990s.