It is one of the most commonly used grain products in the world, but there is a catch.
For most people, long grain rice is not a crop that they can grow anywhere, says David J. Bock, an agronomist at the University of Georgia.
“It is one that grows very well in China,” says Bock.
“That is a huge export market for rice in Asia.”
But the rice industry in China has been plagued by poor farming practices and pests, including the deadly Malaria Black Death.
That’s why the Chinese government has taken an aggressive stance to protect the rice market.
They are looking to control pests and disease.
The government has recently launched a rice planting program called the Great Leap Forward to protect grain production, according to the Xinhua news agency.
And the government has set a goal of planting 4 million tons of rice a year in 2017.
But rice producers are concerned about the lack of competition from other grain crops and growing demand for more rice.
“There are going to be challenges,” says Jeffrey T. Hargreaves, a rice specialist at the United States Geological Survey in Salt Lake City.
“We have the ability to plant rice now, but the cost of the planting is going to go up and the yields will be lower.”
So farmers in some parts of the world are turning to a grain they call long grain.
It’s also a grain that farmers in many parts of Asia and Latin America grow in much larger quantities than is typical for their rice.
There are roughly 30 million hectares of long grain in the Asia-Pacific region, according the World Rice Research Institute.
“Long grain is used as a replacement for rice,” says Jodie M. Brown, an assistant professor of agronomy and food economics at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
“People are really trying to figure out if there’s any value to this new crop that’s going to replace rice.”
For the first time in more than 100 years, long grains are being grown commercially in the United Kingdom.
It is called wheat, but that is actually a combination of wheat and rye.
The rice grown in the U.K. uses wheat, not rye.
“The U.S. is not producing a lot of long grains,” says David Bock of the University, “but it’s a lot like Australia, where they’re growing a lot.
It takes a lot to produce the right amount of long rice.”
Wheat production is booming, but rice production is declining.
In 2016, the world’s rice producers harvested nearly 8 million tons.
By 2025, that number is projected to drop to just over 4 million.
But the U,K.
has been able to make up for the shortfall by increasing production by 10 percent a year, according as the BBC reports.
So far, the UK. rice industry has benefited from the boom in wheat production and its high yields.
Wheat production has also been expanding rapidly.
Wheat farmers in the UK have been growing more wheat than they did a decade ago.
“For the first seven years, we had a bumper harvest and then we had this slump,” says Stephen C. Hall, a wheat farmer in the north of England.
“Now we’ve got a bumper crop.”
But Hall is worried that the drought will cause a new slump.
“A lot of rice growers have gone into debt and are in the process of getting out of debt, and that will be bad for the rice crop,” he says.
“I’m worried that that could happen.”
Wheat is also being grown in places that are not traditionally producing rice.
Farmers in Germany and Austria are using wheat to make a new crop.
But farmers in Brazil are growing the same crop, using rice.
That could create a bigger gap in the market, and could even cause a slowdown in the global rice boom.
The World Rice Trade Organization estimates that the world is going through a boom in rice production.
But many rice farmers in China are concerned that the global demand for rice is slowing, even as the world grows more rice and rice farmers grow more wheat.
“If the world doesn’t do something to get rice production going again, the Chinese rice industry will fall apart,” says Brown.