PRODUCTION of palay, or unmilled rice, and corn are estimated to rise in the first quarter, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

In a March 15 report, the PSA said palay output for the three months to March was estimated to increase 1.1% year on year to 4.83 million metric tons (MT), based on the standing crop as of Feb. 1.

The projection compares with the 4.78 million MT estimate for the year-earlier period and is also 0.6% higher than the earlier estimate of 4.8 million MT issued on Jan. 1.

However, the PSA estimates a decline in the harvest area for rice of 0.1% to 1.17 million hectares, while the yield per hectare of palay is estimated to have risen 1.2% to 4.11 MT.

The PSA said about 318,570 hectares or 27.1% of the 1.17 million hectares planted to rice have been harvested as of Feb. 1, with the resulting palay output at 1.29 million MT.

Some 856,310 hectares of palay have yet to be harvested, with 6.7% at the vegetative stage, 56.9% at the reproductive stage, and 36.5% at the maturing stage. 

Meanwhile, corn production for the period is estimated to increase 5.9% to 2.67 million MT.

This represents a 0.8% downgrade from the 2.69 million MT estimate issued on Jan. 1.

The harvest area for corn is estimated to increase 2.5% to 711,470 hectares, while yield per hectare is estimated to increase 3.3% to 3.75 MT.

As of Feb. 1, 32.2% of the 711,470 hectares have been harvested, equivalent to 723,270 MT of corn output.

“Of the 482,130 hectares of standing corn yet to be harvested as of Feb. 1, about 2.2% were at the vegetative stage, 51.8% at the reproductive stage, and 46.0% at the maturing stage,” the PSA said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile