Washington / DC. (gov) To highlight its importance, both as a crop and as part of the changing U.S. diet, September is National Rice Month. Globally, rice is the world’s most important cereal grain. Reflecting both our increasing cultural diversity and awareness of good nutrition, Americans have increased their annual consumption of rice from 1980’s 9,5 pounds to today’s 31 pounds each. Rice has been grown in America since the late 17th century and is currently a three billion USD a year crop. While raising only two percent of the world’s rice, the U.S. is the leading non-Asian exporter, sending nearly 2.1 billion USD worth annually to overseas markets. The grain is raised by farmers in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas – according to the U.S. Census Bureau (Image: pexels.com).