Initial data signal record rice yields

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UNMILLED rice harvest in the first quarter of 2017 rose more than 5% year on year with hybrid rice seed driving the expansion

Citing data from the Philippine Rice Information System (PRISM) which provides the agency seasonal reports on harvests, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said that output for unmilled rice, or palay, stood at 4.14 million metric tons (MT) in the three months to March, up 5.34% year on year.

Headded that “for the first time in the history of rice farming,” results indicated a 4.15 ton yield per hectare, breaking the previous record of 3.9 MT per hectare.

This he attributed to the rise to expanded use of hybrid rice seed.

Further, the highest average yield per region of 4.84 metric tons per hectare was recorded in Central Luzon which includes some of the top-rice producing provinces in the country -- Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Aurora, Zambales and Bataan.

“The higher average yield in the Central Luzon area is credited mainly to the increasing number of farmers who are using hybrid rice seed,” Piñol said in a Facebook post last weekend.

Piñol said that the agency “is promoting the nationwide use of Hybrid Rice Seed which have been proven to produce (up to) double the production average of inbred rice seeds.”