BAS lowers forecast on palay harvests for Q1 2016
The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics has lowered its forecast on the country’s palay harvest for the first quarter of the year to take into account the insufficient water supply and intense heat brought about by the dry spell and the adverse effects of typhoon Nona that hit palay crops in December 2015.
In its latest update, the BAS said palay production for the first quarter may reach 4.07 million metric tons, two percent lower than the 4.15 million metric ton it forecast in January and 6.8 percent lower than the 2015 forecast.
The BAS said the harvest area and yields in some provinces were affected by the dry spell during the crucial reproductive and maturing stage of the crop. This was seen in Iloilo, North Cotabato, Negros Occidental, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Capiz, Antique, Zamboanga Sibugay, Bukidnon, Zamboanga Norte, Bohol, Guimaras, Negros Oriental, Batangas, Quezon, Zambales, and Aklan.
In Aurora and Cagayan, typhoon Nona affected crops that were already planted and due for harvest in the first quarter, resulting in a reduction of the harvest area.
In North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Bohol, Cavite, and Leyte, pests such as rats, black bugs, birds, and stem borers affected the harvest.
The BAS sees a decline in palay grown from hybrid, certified, and farmers’ seeds but palay grown from traditional or native seeds are expected to increase by 53.5 percent, based on standing crop. (Eileen A. Mencias)