As a part time farmer, I sometimes see a little about rice in farm publications that I get. I never paid a lot of attention in that I don’t grow rice and eat just a few pounds per year. My perception (and I could be wrong) is that rice farming is not especially profitable in the USA, and that Thailand is the world’s largest rice exporter. If as another poster mentioned, rice farming becomes very profitable, you will see a lot more grown in the USA.
With the "limit" set by warehouse stores what (if any) actual customer will be hurt? If a restaurant buys it’s supplies there, it is probably a fairly small owner run operation. How much rice do they need? It is not like they are being limited to 5 lbs a week.
As for crop farming in general, the risks are bigger than ever this spring. Input prices have soared. Fertilizer in my area has more than doubled, and road tax free diesel fuel is about $4 a gallon. With the price of field corn (I only grow sweet corn) one would expect to see more production, but it looks like it will not be the case this season, because even with the very high corn prices, inputs costs will make it not especially profitable and more risky than ever.
Organic growers may actually be the low cost producers this season…….it is crazy.