PSA: Palay output in first quarter seen hitting 4.6 million metric tons

In Photo: Farmers dry palay on a Pampanga highway.

By Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas @jearcalas

Despite the projected reduction in palay harvest area and yield, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said paddy-rice output in the January-to-March period would reach about 4.6 million metric tons (MMT).

In its report published over the weekend, titled “Updates on January-March 2018 Palay and Corn Estimates,” the PSA revised downward its forecast for unmilled rice production to 4.59 MMT, from the 4.67-MMT projected output in January.

“The probable decrease in palay production may be attributed to the reduction of harvest area in
Zamboanga Sibugay, Davao Norte and North Cotabato due to effects of Typhoon Vinta in the later part of 2017,” the
report read.

“[Also] the foreseen decrease in yield may be due to the effects of Typhoon Urduja in Capiz; occurrence of heavy rains in Isabela, Mindoro Oriental, Leyte and Sultan Kudarat; and rice-bug infestation in Tarlac, Iloilo and South Cotabato,” it added.

The PSA estimated that total palay harvest area in the first quarter would slightly decline to 1.189 million hectares, from 1.192 million hectares recorded during the January-to-March period in 2017. Yield per hectare could also fall to 3.86 MT from 3.92 MT.

The PSA’s latest palay output forecast for the first quarter is still 3.9 percent higher than the 4.42-MMT recorded production in the same period last year.

The report noted that, as of March 1, about 559,150 hectares, or 47 percent, of the updated standing crop for the January-to-March period have been harvested.

“Of the updated standing palay crop, 21.3 percent were at vegetative stages, 42.5 percent at reproductive stage and 36.1 percent at maturing stage,” it added.

The PSA said around 821,840 hectares, or 90.3 percent, of the farmers’s planting intentions for the second quarter have

Meanwhile, the PSA also revised downward its corn-output forecast in the first quarter to 2.46 MMT, from the 2.49 MMT it projected in January. However, its latest projection is still 4.1 percent higher than the previous year’s output of 2.37 MMT.

“The probable decrement in corn output  may be attributed to: contraction in harvest area and yield brought about the effects of Typhoon Vinta in Zamboanga Sur and Zamboanga Norte in the later part of 2017,” it said.

“And decrease in yield due to infestation of planthopper in Ifugao and rats in South Cotabato and Sarangani; and effects of continuous rains in Isabela and Negros Oriental,” it added.

The report noted total corn-harvest area in the first quarter may decline by 0.1 percent, from the 720,960-hectare level, while yield per hectare may decrease from 3.45 MT to 3.42 MT.

Image Credits: Nonie Reyes

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