I have been buying wild rice from the source near Winnipeg ( probably Shoal Lake Co-op, one of the biggest on the continent) for thirty years and have occaisionally used 7 or 8 year old rice. Works fine following all the advice in the above threads. I have always done a 10 minute boil-drain -rinse cycle before my cooking time, with both new and old rice. Never had a problem.
I recently visited a wild rice operation near Winnipeg, Canada. The wild rice is grown, harvested, dried, parched and bagged all in one place.
The co-owner of the operation said that when wild rice is "old" it might never open at all during cooking. This actually happened to one of the members on our tour (all culinary professionals attending the annual Cuisine Canada conference).
Considering that one never knows how long something's been sitting around in a distributor's warehouse/grocery store, there's no way of knowing whether your wild rice is old before you buy it.
I'd advise you to soak your wild rice prior to use, especially if you are aware that it's been sitting around for awhile.
I have cooked some that I found at the back of the pantry that was 3 years old. It tasted fine and cooked according to the directions.
I would think that shelf life would be almost indefinite, as long as it was kept dry and out of the light. Mine was in a plastic bag inside a Rubbermaid container.
I've kept wild rice for 2 years with no discernable loss of quality- I have no iea how long it was on the shelf before I got to it. I have pretty good plastic storage.
It may have taken slightly longer to open during the boil, but free of bugs and other contaminants, and kept out of direct sunlight to prevent the possibilty of rancidity, I can't imagine it going bad.