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Rice and grain prices in Arkansas rising as conflict in Ukraine continues

Riceland Foods is one of the world's largest processors of grain and rice. They expect prices to rise higher for their products while Russia and Ukraine are at war.

STUTTGART, Ark. — As the conflict continues between Ukraine and Russia, you've probably noticed prices going up even more on the things you buy every day.

Riceland Foods, one of the largest processors for grain and rice in Arkansas, is already feeling additional strains on the supply chain.

"We've seen two-fold. We've seen supply chain disruptions become even more disrupted by the war, and we've also seen the scarcity of some commodities," said Kevin McGilton, Riceland VP of Government Affairs.

Riceland Foods processes more than 125 million bushels of grain a year and is the world's largest miller for rice. 

They expect prices to rise even higher for their products while Russia and Ukraine are at war.

"The Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat to the world. They are also a large producer of corn," said McGilton.

Just in the past several weeks, some prices have doubled on grain products. That means farmers will want to plant more of those crops that are in such high demand like soybeans and corn.

Rice hasn't seen such a drastic increase because farmers prepare months in advance for the growing season in choosing what seeds to plant. Rice didn't see such a need until very recently.

"The profit wasn't really there, so we're not expecting a lot more rice than we had last year. We think that acreage will be flat to maybe a 5% increase, but decisions are still being made," said McGilton.

Riceland says it does export internationally but Russia and Ukraine are not among the major buyers.


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