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Riceland sets sales record.

Riceland Foods Inc., Jonesboro, Ark., reported record sales of $1.3 billion for fiscal 2009, 8 percent higher than the previous record set a year earlier. Riceland's farmer-members received a record $776 million in 200809, up 11 percent from a year earlier.

"During the past 3 years, crop production has been less than earlier in the decade, but grain values have been higher during the past two years," Danny Kennedy, president and CEO of the farmer-owned cooperative, said at the co-op's annual meeting in Jonesboro.

Carl Brothers, senior vice president for international rice, said prices for long-grain rice declined during most of the 2008-crop year, "in contrast to the euphoria in the spring and early summer of 2008 when reports of rice shortages in the world dominated news media. The tight U.S. medium-grain rice supply situation, drought conditions in Australia and the Egyptian rice export ban kept medium-grain rice prices extremely attractive all year, particularly as compared to long-grain prices," he said.

Riceland and its farmer-members are going through a transition period, Kennedy said. "Growers now have larger and faster combines and large trucks which are capable of harvesting and delivering crops faster than some of our aging facilities can accommodate. As a result, many members have built on-farm bins, and others are driving longer distances to reach facilities with shorter dump lines, which allow them to keep their combines rolling. We are working to adjust to this storage shift."
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Title Annotation:Newsline: Co-op developments, coast to coast
Publication:Rural Cooperatives
Date:Jan 1, 2010
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