Rice, corn output projections cut due to dry spell

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THE Philippine Statistics Authority-Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (PSA-BAS) has further lowered its palay and corn output projections for the second quarter due to the adverse effects of the ongoing dry spell, insufficient water supply, and incidence of pests and diseases in some rice producing provinces.

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In its May 2015 round forecast, BAS said that palay production for April-June 2015 may reach 3.898 million metric tons (MT), down 0.1 percent from the April 2015 round forecast of 3.902 million MT and 4.3 percent below last year’s output of 4.073 million MT.

The agency attributed the lower palay output to the decrease in harvest area, which is expected to contract from 0.92 million hectares to 0.91 million hectares. This offset the overall yield improvement of 4.27 per hectare from 4.25 MT per hectare.

“Contraction in harvest areas are foreseen in Agusan del Norte, Bukidnon, Sorsogon, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Occidental, Negros Occidental, Capiz, Mindoro Oriental, Samar and Negros Oriental,” the BAS said.

In Albay, Bulacan, Davao Sur, Palawan, and Apayao, the insufficient water supply and intense heat that affected the vegetative and reproductive stages of the crop may reduce yield, it added.

The agency added that the incidence of tungro in Laguna and infestation of stemborer and rice black bug in South Cotabato, and Surigao Norte may also bring down production.

Rice tungro disease is caused by two viruses and transmitted by leafhoppers. A stemborer is any insect larva, or arthropod, that bores into plant stems.

Around 630,000 hectares of the updated standing crop have been harvested; while about 124,000 hectares or 14.3 percent of the planting intentions for the July-September 2015 crop have been realized, the BAS said.

“Of the 408,000 hectares standing palay crop, 31.4 percent were at vegetative stage; 22.5 percent at reproductive stage and 46.1 percent at maturing stage,” it said.

For corn, production for the second quarter of 2015 may reach 997,000 MT, down by 3.0 percent from the earlier forecast of 1.029 million MT and 17 percent lower than last year’s level of 1.202 million MT.

The harvest area may decline from 336,000 hectares to 330,000 hectares, while yield may drop to 3.02 MT per hectare from 3.06 MT per hectare.

“The probable decreases in corn output could be traced to decline in area harvested and drop in yield caused by the adverse effects of a prolonged dry spell in Bukidnon, Albay, South Cotabato, Camarines Sur, Quezon, Sarangani, Misamis Oriental, Apayao, Capiz, Misamis Occidental, Sultan Kudarat and Leyte,” the BAS said.

It also said that the foreseen decrease in the output of Sarangani and Leyte could be due to infestation of rodents and birds.

About 197,000 hectares of the updated standing crop have been harvested. Around 201,000 hectares or 21.7 percent of the planting intentions for the July-September 2015 harvests have been materialized.

Of the updated 334 thousand hectares of standing corn crop, about 56.3 percent were at vegetative stage; 19.7 percent at reproductive stage and 24.0 percent at maturing stage.

As of May 1, the country’s total rice stocks were pegged at 3.17 million MT, or 25.7 percent above the 2.52 million MT record in May 2014 and 24.6 percent higher than last month’s inventory of 2.54 million MT. The rice inventory is enough for the next 93 days.

The total corn stock inventory, on the other hand, was pegged at 223,300 MT, or 16.7 percent lower than last year’s record of 268,100 MT and 34.4 percent below last month’s level of 340,200 MT.

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