The Physics
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Mass of US Rice Production

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
USA Rice. US Production Stats. "1999 Crop, Production (1000 cwt), Arkansas, 97.047, US total, 210.458" 10.69 × 109 kg
Farmighetti, Robert & McGeveraindr, William. The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2000. Mahwah, NY: Primedia, 2000.
7.93โ€“10.05 × 109 kg
US Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Handbook 689. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1990. "1982, 155 million cwt" 7.87 × 109 kg
Statistical Highlights 1998, 1999: Crops. National Agricultural Statistics Service. USDA. "Production (1,000) Year
Rice Low 2,340 cwt in 1896
Rice High 197,779 cwt in 1994
since 1985"
0.12โ€“10.05 × 109 kg
US Department of Agriculture. Track Records United States Crop Production. Mann Library. Cornel University. May 1999.
year(000) cwt
1.243โ€“4.668 × 109 kg

Rice is the world's most valuable cereal grain, being the principle food in more than half of the people in the world. It is nutritious, supplying the body with carbohydrates, B vitamins, minerals and little fat. Rice grows from a plant that is part of the grass family. The rice grains come from the head or panicle of the plant, where from 60 to 150 kernels of rive grains are found.

Although the United States is not the top producer of rice, a large amount of rice is produced by the US for domestic consumption, export, and livestock feed. Climate requirements mean that the major rice producing states are Arkansas (leading in producing), California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas. Rice grows best on coastal plains and in river valleys where temperature ranges from 21 to 38 degrees Celsius. It takes about eighteen weeks to grow and an average rainfall of 113 cm or an irrigation system.

The changes in production in the 90s have been relatively slight despite an all time high in 1994. Many of these changes, however, are a result of weather changes throughout the year. Also affecting the amount of rice the US produces is the amount of government funding agriculturists have. In the years where more acreage of rice plants were planted and harvested, production of rice was increased directly. Increases from the 1950s and 60s were more of a result in the increase of technology, planting methods and opportunity. In the U.S most of the planting and processing of rice into forms like brown rice (after removing the rice kernel's hard covering) or white rice (made after bran layers and embryo of the brown rice is rubbed off) is done with machinery.

Compared to the rest of the world, the US produces less than 2% of this crop. However, the United States with its supply, is the leading exporter, sending from 40% to 60% of its crop overseas. It is interesting to view how US rice production recently has remained steady while export rates are high and annual consumption of the rice product has risen to more than 20 pounds -- about double that of the mid-1980s. The US makes up for some with about 11 percent of rice consumed in the US being imported, making the US a strong competitor.

Eddie Yee -- 2000