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The Rice Factory

A History of Producers Rice Mill

Producers Rice Mill was born in 1943 as an idea in the minds of a group of distinguished farmers dedicated to the cause of improving the marketing returns of the members it served.

Utilizing a mill built by the Standard Rice Company in 1916, Producers milled just 143,500 barrels the first year, and had assets of only $125,000. Today Producers' annual milling rate has increased to over 60 million bushels, and sales have topped the $550 million mark in recent years.

Service was expanded in 1946 when Producers Dryer, Inc. was organized to handle members rice drying in a co-op manner. The first year, the dryer only handled 126,488 bushels of rice for the entire season. Receipts during the 2004 peak harvest period exceeded over 550,000 bushels per day at the Stuttgart facility alone. In 2004, the Stuttgart facility handled just under 14,000,000 bushels of green rice in single season, a new record.
To the left is Producers' truck parking lot with the milling complex in the background during the record 2004 harvest. With the purchase of Gibbs Harris Rice Dryer at Wynne, Arkansas, and the Pioneer Food facilities, Producers added locations in DeWitt, Eudora, Fair Oaks, Marianna, Pine Bluff, Wilmot, Wilson and Yellow Bend, Arkansas--increasing our size many times over.
In October 2001, Producers further expanded its milling and storage capacity by purchasing the A. C. Humko plant at Greenville, Mississippi. This plant had a white rice mill, a parboil mill, a rice flour mill and a barge loading facility on the Mississippi River. As well as adding the ability to better serve our Mississippi members, the extra milling capacity and the ability to load barges directly on the Mississippi River greatly enhanced Producers' export capabilities.

In October 2003, Producers purchased the Monsanto plant (more commonly known as Hartz Seed Company) in Stuttgart. This facility, located on a main industrial thoroughfare in Stuttgart and adjacent to property already owned by Producers, added 26 acres of land, two warehouses, an office, and 1,640,000 bushels of sorely needed storage for the Stuttgart operation.

In 2012, Producers finished construction on Dryer 6 at the Stuttgart facility, which allowed for the 2012 harvest to be a record setting year, receiving over 16.6 million bushels at the Stuttgart facility. 

Today Producers is a full-line supplier of the finest quality rice available. From our central location in the heart of the Southern Rice Belt, Producers ships products across the country and around the world.

Producers serves all major divisions of the rice industry--foodservice, retail, private label, export and industrial. As one of the largest private label packers in the country, Producers packs over 100 brands for major food chains and food distributors in the United States and abroad.


Milling of Rice

During the milling stage the rice moves through a multifaceted process. When rice arrives at the mill, it is ushered through a series of sorting machines, separating the kernels, encased in an inedible hull or husk, from any debris.

The rough rice passes through "sheller" machines that remove the hull. What remains is brown rice, with the bran layers still surrounding the kernel. The grains of brown rice are milled by machines that rub the grains together under pressure. This abrasion removes the bran layer, revealing white or "polished" rice.

Some U.S. mills produce parboiled rice. Parboiling is a steam pressure process in which rough rice is soaked, steamed and dried before milling. Milled white rice, at its best, is made up of clean, polished, whole kernels. Many U.S. rice mills use laser sorters that look for broken or discolored kernels and sort them from the whole kernels of rice. Technology has enabled the U.S. rice industry to consistently produce a high-quality product. The modern technology employed by American rice producers and millers is, in part, responsible for the reputation of quality that U.S. rice has around the world.

The fact that the U.S. is one of the world's largest exporters of rice attests to its broad appeal. An equally impressive fact is that about 90 percent of the rice consumed in the U.S. is produced within its borders.