After five consecutive years of record growth, the country’s palay (unmilled rice) and corn production this year is expected to fall below their 2014 levels, the Philippine Statistics Authority-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (PAS-BAS) said in a report.
In its July Round Rice and Corn Situation and Outlook report, the PSA-BAS said palay production for 2015 may reach 18.86 million metric tons, or 0.6 percent below the 18.97 million MT output in 2014, as harvest areas contracted because of insufficient water supply and intense heat from the El Nino phenomenon
In the six months to June 2015 alone, palay production was pegged at 8.32 million MT, down by 0.7 percent or 56,000 MT from the 8.38 million MT output in 2014.
“Significant reductions in output were noted in SOCCSKSARGEN, MIMAROPA, Caraga, Western Visayas and Northern Mindanao,” the PSA-BAS said.
SOCCSKSARGEN, MIMAROPA, Caraga, WVisayas, NMindanao
In SOCCSKSARGEN, the harvest area contracted on delayed cropping in South Cotabato brought about by the closure of the National Irrigation Authority Aris Dam 2 for rehabilitation of lateral canals. Also, some areas were damaged by the dry spell. Yield dropped due to insufficient water supply and damage from the dry spell.
In MIMAROPA, some areas were damaged by intense heat, while insufficient water supply resulted in lower yields.
There were reductions in harvest areas and yields from Caraga or Region 13 and Western Visayas or Region 6 because of insufficient water supply and intense heat during the reproductive stage of cropping.
In Northern Mindanao, palay crops in some irrigated areas were totally damaged by the dry spell during the reproductive stage in Bukidnon. In Lanao del Norte, some areas were not farmed because of insufficient water supply. Yield declined also in Bukidnon because of insufficient supply of irrigation water. In Misamis Occidental, palay crops were infested by worms.
Q3 palay forecast
For the third quarter of 2015, the PSA-BAS expects output to continue to fall as probable palay production and harvest areas may decline by 0.5 percent and 0.8 percent from their respective levels in 2014. Yields, however, may improve by 0.3 percent to 4.02 MT per hectare from 4.01 MT.
Based on standing crop, the July- September 2015 production may drop by 14.5 percent to 2.59 million MT this year from 3.03 million MT in 2014.
“Except for the Bicol region, all regions expect decreases in production and harvest areas.
These could be attributed to unrealized planting intentions as a result of delayed and inadequate releases of irrigation water, late onset of the rainy season, and some areas left in-fallow. These were noted in Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Central Luzon, Zamboanga Peninsula and SOCCSKSARGEN,” it said.
The improvement in yield could be traced to the High Yielding Technology Adoption program of the government.
On the other hand, farmers’ planting intentions for October-December 2015 production and harvest areas indicate positive growth by 5.1 percent each, compared with their respective levels a year earlier. Yield is expected to remain at 4.05 MT per hectare.
“Production, harvest area and yield are expected to increase in several regions. There will be movement of cropping from the third quarter to the fourth quarter because of delayed plantings caused by insufficient supply of irrigation water and rainfall in the previous quarter. Significant increases in output are expected in Cagayan Valley, Ilocos Region, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula and SOCCSKSARGEN,” the PSA-BAS said.
For corn, production in January-December 2015 is forecast to reach 7.64 million MT or 1.6 percent short of the 7.77-million MT produced in 2014. The harvest area may contract to 2.58 million hectares from 2.61 million hectares last year. Yield may decline to 2.97 MT per hectare from 2.98 MT.
The January-June 2015 corn production, pegged at 3.38 million MT, was 2.8 percent lower than the 3.48 million MT output last year. The harvest area contracted to 1.04 million hectares from 1.10 million hectares. But yields improved to 3.24 MT per hectare from 3.18 MT.
However, the July-September 2015 forecast on standing crop indicates higher output of 2.47 million MT against the 2.45 million MT record last year as the harvest area may expand to 879,820 hectares from last year’s 873,570 hectares. Yield may also improve to 2.81 MT per hectare from 2.80 MT.
Large increments in production are expected in Cagayan Valley, SOCCSKSARGEN, and Central Luzon. Meanwhile, heavy downpour during April and May in Isabela and Quirino encouraged more farmers to plant early and may lead to increase output in Cagayan Valley.
In SOCCSKSARGEN, synchronized plantings of white and yellow corn may contribute to increased production. In Central Luzon, more usage of hybrid seeds, sufficient water supply and continuous interventions from local government units and the National Corn Program may boost production.
Based on farmers’ planting intentions, the October-December 2015 forecasts on a harvest area of 650,650 hectares may surpass the 2014 level by 1.2 percent, but yields may drop to 2.75 MT per hectare from 2.87 MT.
“Correspondingly, probable production of 1.79 million MT may be lower than the 2014 level by 2.9 percent,” the PSA-BAS said.
Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Caraga are expected to show significant reductions in production, harvest area and yield. In Cagayan Valley, the movement of cropping to the third quarter from early plantings and shifting to cassava in Isabela and Quirino may result in contraction in terms of the harvest area.
In Western Visayas, delayed plantings from the late onset of the rainy season may prevent farmers from harvesting in time for the fourth quarter cropping. Some farmers in ARMM and Caraga are still hesitant to plant corn because of expectations that El Niño may last until the first quarter of 2016.