The United States produces 6.1 million metric tons of rice each year of which 3.1 million is exported. In 1997 the value of the United States crop was $1.7 billion. The economic damage from a foreign rice disease or pest would be devastating to the US rice industry and producers.
The rice plant is attacked by many exotic pathogens and insects, some causing substantial losses in rice crop yield. Most products made from rice are regulated. Rice pathogens may be carried on all parts of the rice plant--foliage, stem, leaf sheath, root, grain, and panicle. Insects that bore into rice plants can be carried in the stalks of rice.
Articles made of rice straw my be imported into the United States as long as the importer obtains a written permit and the rice straw has been treated. For more information on rice straw, please contact USDA APHIS' Permit Unit.